Monthly Archives: April 2020

  1. The Role of Seals in the Quest for Medical Cures

    The coronavirus has prompted all of us to do everything we can to protect ourselves from catching and spreading the virus. We are all taking important safety measures to maintain a clean and uncontaminated home environment, and limiting our exposure to a potentially hazardous outdoor environment.

    picture of coronavirus medicalIn this blog, our partners at Eclipse will be examining the role that seals play throughout a pandemic. The very role of seals is to keep a certain environment in, and certain environment out, similar to how we are living these days.

    In Eclipse's last blog, they wrote about boundary seals in aircraft and how seals allow the aircraft to be pressurized. In the research lab, a different style of boundary seal is required to keep the outside environment out.

    Labs all over the world are working toward preventing the spread of coronavirus. Scientists are working with test equipment to find a cure and a vaccine to prevent not just the spread of this virus, but other viruses which we’ve not yet seen.

    When we design seals, we must consider keeping something as small as a single cell from entering a test chamber. Last week, Eclipse received a call directly from a customer building a prototype ventilator to be built in volume to help support patients suffering from coronavirus.

    The client requested that Eclipse's engineering and manufacturing team turn an 8-inch (203mm) seal around from concept, design, and finally produced and shipped in less than 4 hours — and they made it happen.

    Keep reading to explore the important role that seals play in research equipment as scientists seek to find the cure for coronavirus and beyond.

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  2. Curing Chronic Pipe Leakage

    How the raised surface profile of PTFE sheet gasket helped a midstream oil and gas processor address leaky pipes

    Bolted flange-gasket connections in process piping systems are common and given little thought – unless they start to leak.

    Chronic leakage proved to be an issue for one of Garlock's clients, a midstream oil and gas processor and services provider. The site processes, stores, and transports natural gas, liquefied natural gas and petroleum products. Garlock was brought in to provide a solution to the problem.

    Successful connections are dependent on a variety of things, including the state of the flange surfaces, alignment, bolt and nut grade and strength, bolt and nut thread condition, lubrication, bolt tightening process, service conditions, and choice of gasket.

    When a flange-gasket joint is assembled, the gasket must first be compressed to fill the gaps between the flange surfaces, creating a seal when system pressure is applied. Secondly, it must maintain that seal as the system is brought on-line and temperature and pressure escalate.

    As the temperature increases, a gasket made of non-metallic materials such as rubber, fibre, PTFE and inorganic fillers is prone to lose thickness, that is, creep. And the thicker the gasket is, the
    more it is prone to creep (1/8-inch thick gaskets creep more than 1/16-inch).

    The two most important performance qualities of a gasket are its ability to seal and its ability maintain that seal. These can be indicated by industry standard tests for sealability and creep.

    On the surface, this particular case study would seem to be an application of little complexity. However, the details of the joint gave rise to several issues that caused the user chronic leakage problems. Here are the service conditions and background of this particular case:

    • Temperature: 100°F to 120°F (38°C to 49°C)
    • Flanges and use: 18-inch Class 150 raised face flanges used in the pipe systems of cooling tower water pumps. Multiple gaskets are on either side of spool piece
    • Media: Water
    • Pressure: 100 psig to 150 psig (7 bar-g to 10.3 bar-g)

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  3. Vesconite Hilube Wear Rings Save Money for Pump OEM

    Vesconite Hilube Saves Energy Costs for Pump OEM

    The installation of Vesconite Hilube wear rings can result in electricity savings that more-than-pay for the wear ring.

    picture of hilube wear ringsThis was the result of a study by a large pump original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that compared energy usage on a typical submersible pump when Vesconite Hilube wear rings were in place versus stainless steel wear rings that had been previously installed.

    Vesconite Hilube is a low-friction wear-resistant polymer. Wear rings made from the material are designed to seal the pressure leakage of the liquid between the inlet and the impeller and the pump casing, and should result in a higher pumping efficiency due to lower by-pass.

    Vesconite Bearing technical pump consultant Phillip

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  4. How Gallagher's Suppliers are Helping Support the Fight Against Covid-19

    Gore, Precision Associates, and Parker Join the Fight Against Covid-19

    picture of gore logoWhat Gore is doing to help

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities around the world, Gore is working hard to identify ways in which they can apply their materials science expertise and production capabilities to help during this time of need.

    Several initiatives are underway that bring together the knowledge, skills and capabilities from across Gore.

    As an immediate and initial response to the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage, Gore rapidly engineered prototype reusable mask covers to supplement clinicians’ primary face masks.

    The effort went from a product concept to prototypes in less than one week. Gore currently has prototypes being evaluated at a limited number of U.S. facilities in COVID-19 outbreak hot spots.

    Additionally, by providing their customers and other manufacturing companies with Gore's highly specialized component materials, they can use them to produce a variety of finished PPE items, such as:

    • Protective medical gowns, using fabrics laminates from Gore's current inventory
    • Universal filter cartridge prototypes for fixed masks that incorporate Gore's filtration materials intended to provide N95 particulate protection,
    • Disposable N95 respirators, using Gore's filtration laminates

    It is through these collaborations with those who have the technical capabilities and production capacity needed to produce the finished goods in volume that together, Gore and its partners truly are improving life.

    Gore has even donated medical supplies and protective gear to healthcare workers in the communities in which their facilities are stationed. They've also extended a hand to provide engineering and prototyping support to address other urgent equipment needs at local hospitals.


    picture of precision logoWhat Precision Associates is doing to help

    Precision Associates, Inc. has ramped up its production of several essential rubber components for ventilator manufacturer Ventec Life Systems. Ventec recently announced plans to partner with GM to increase the output of these crucial units in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Critical patients suffering from the virus have difficulty breathing and require ventilator assistance for life support. GM is now transforming one of its factories to begin assembling ventilators for Ventec in early April.

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  5. What You Should Know About Electrically Conductive Elastomers

    Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.

    Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by Jarrod Cohen, marketing communications manager, Chomerics Divison.


    Electrically conductive elastomers are elastomeric polymers filled with metal particles. They can be grouped by filler type and elastomer type. Then within each of these classes, there are standard materials and specialty materials.

    Parker Chomerics manufacturers electrically conductive elastomers in gasket form, also known as EMI elastomer gaskets, under the CHO-SEAL brand. We won't get so much into gasket configurations and dimensions here, we'll just stick to classes of materials. So what is available? Let’s find out.

    Conductive elastomers are metallic particle filled elastomeric polymers, the particles giving the shielding performance and the polymer making them “rubber." There are many materials within this generic material type, but we'll focus on the below.

    Particle fillers

    Setting up the grades of conductive elastomers by filler types involves six different particles:

    picture of 6 essential fillers

    Three types of elastomer material

    • Silicone
      A polymer that has a large temperature range especially on the low end down to -55F. It is a very soft material with a low compression set.
    • Fluorosilicone
      Close to silicone, but will not swell and degrade when exposed to solvents, fuels hydraulic fluids and other organic fluids. Although slightly harder than silicone, it is still relatively soft with low compression set properties.
    • Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM)
      Does not have the temperature range nor the softness of silicone, but is resistant to highly chlorinated solvents used for compliance with NBC decontamination and is only used for applications with those needs.

    All of these materials are cured or cross linked when the gasket is made. The cure either happens with heat or atmospheric moisture.

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  6. Coatings: Peroxide-Cured EPDM vs Sulfur-Cured EPDM

    picture of EPDM sheet rubberEPDM is an M-Class synthetic rubber and is one of the most popular and versatile rubber compounds available. The main properties of EPDM are its outstanding heat, ozone, and weather resistance. EPDM rubber has excellent electrical insulating properties and it has good resistance to steam, ketones, ordinary diluted acids, and alkalies.

    During the manufacturing process of EPDM sheet rubber, the compound can be cured with either peroxide or sulfur. The choice of curing method is determined by the end-uses and applications which the compound will service.

    Depending upon which curing method is chosen, there will be differences in the final properties and characteristics of the cured compound. Knowing these differences can be an important factor in selecting the right EPDM

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  7. How HEPA Filters and Boundary Seals Help Protect Us During Pandemics

    Boundary seals that help keep a certain environment sealed in while keeping the world out are everywhere.

    If you look around your home, you may be surprised to see there are seals surrounding every door — and not just at the bottom. Your oven, microwave, and of course refrigerator door all have seals around them.

    All these seals are different, yet they perform the same function. Your microwave is especially interesting, as its primary purpose is to keep microwaves from escaping the chamber that’s cooking your food. Your refrigerator seal has a magnet built into it, which keeps the door sealed shut.

    Boundary seals are also found in many cell phones and electronic devices, keeping them water-resistant or water-proof (depending on the manufacturer). And in the industrial world, we have seals to create explosion-proof boxes in hazardous environments. The simple O-ring is found at the end of every cylinder cap to keep fluids in and the environment out.

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  8. Braided Packing Materials: From Flexible Graphite To Fiberglass Rope

    picture of braided packingIt’s highly likely that, at some point or another, you have seen braided packing in or out of its “natural environment.” Braided packing looks like rope and is cut into rings that wrap around a rod. While packing used to be available in fairly limited styles, the mechanical packing industry has expanded over time, resulting in braided packing that is available in everything from flexible graphite to fiberglass yarn. Let’s dive into this topic, and discuss the different materials from which braided packing is made in this day and age.

    Fiberglass Rope

    One of the reasons why fiberglass ropes are favored for braided is that it does not burn.

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  9. Kalrez® Bonded Door Seals

    picture of kalrez bonded door seals

    Bonded door seals for gate valves and slit valve door seal applications provide improved sealing performance versus conventional O-rings by reducing particle generation, extending seal life, and minimizing replacement time during preventive maintenance.

    DuPont Kalrez® bonded door seals are designed for easy installation and low particle generation. They combine a custom seal design and proprietary adhesion technology along with the excellent plasma resistance of Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer seal materials developed for semiconductor applications. The seal is held

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