All posts by GFS Marketing

Is an ASTM Callout the Best Way to Specify Your Elastomer Needs?

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

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by Fred Fisher, Technical Sales Manager for Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.


ASTM Elastomer Compounds

elastomer materials pictureWhen looking at drawings to define a specific application or elastomer requirement: Is there value in using an ASTM elastomer compound description versus listing an approved Parker compound number?

Specifying a compound using the ASTM callout is a good start – it clearly defines what is wanted and it sets a minimum benchmark, which makes it easy for competitive vendors to understand what the need is. The ASTM standards also set specific test parameters which makes it much more simple to do an “apples to apples” comparison between two compounds. However, over time, here is what customers have learned:

Know Your Operating Requirements

1. The ASTM standards are very general; so when a customer defines a specific FKM they need using an ASTM callout, they might receive a compliant material that just barely meets the ASTM specifications, but did not meet the actual operating requirements. Because of that, a supplier may provide a customer with the lowest cost material. Let’s say the quality of the material is on the lower-end, but it meets the ASTM criteria requested. Because of that, the customer could see a 15% increase in assemblies requiring rework, plus a rising number of warranty claims due to seal failures. The twenty cents per seal that the customer saved for their $50 application would be offset by the cost of the increased product failures. And ultimately, this would result in an unhappy customer.

Know the Fluids Your Seals Will be Exposed to

fluid exposure2.  The ASTM standard does not specifically list what actual chemicals the seal has to be compatible with as well as the operating conditions. ASTM tests compatibility based on Standardized Testing Fluids, which are: Oils, Fuels, and Service Liquids. ASTM uses standard oils, which are defined by IRM 901 and 903. Again, the ASTM standards are excellent for comparing compounds, but most people do not have their seals operating in the ASTM reference oils and many sealing applications are exposed to multiple fluids.

Know What Your ASTM is Calling Out

3.  Most engineers or folks in purchasing who review or utilize older drawings have no idea why the original engineer chose the specific compound or why they used an ASTM callout.

So what is the best way to define and specify an elastomer? Most companies go through a technical process to specify, test. and confirm that an elastomer is the correct choice for their application. All elastomers tested and approved for the application should be clearly listed on the drawing. In addition, the drawing should clearly state that  the approved materials listed were tested to confirm their suitability for the application. All substitutes or new elastomers must be tested and approved by engineering prior to use.


Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor for Parker. For more information about their products, including o-rings or their various compounds, contact Gallagher Fluid Seals today.

Spring Types and Materials in Sealing Systems

Springs are an integral part of all sealing systems. A simple air cylinder has O-rings to seal in the air, and the O-ring exhibits spring-like qualities to ensure a good seal over a broad temperature range.

But what are the different types of springs and materials in sealing systems? And how do you choose the best for your application?

image of metal spring types

Metal Springs

Metal springs, such as the Cantilever and Canted Coil spring, are used to energize polymers such as Teflon and ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW) to allow sealing in a wide range of temperatures. Selecting the correct spring material is critical to the life of the seal.

Metal energized seals are often subjected to a wide variety of fluids and temperature ranges, which then requires the correct material choice for the life of the seal in the application.

One of the earliest metal springs was the flat band or marcel expander, often made from common materials like 300 series Stainless Steel or heat treated 17-7 Stainless Steel.

These materials are often chosen for their tensile strength. But due to the cost to manufacture and the high volumes of spring required, these two expanders were often relegated to industrial or aerospace hydraulic systems.

If system fluids were not compatible with Stainless Steel, customers generally went to a different sealing system to avoid the high cost of short runs in these styles of energizers.

O-Rings cover a wide range of temperatures, and fluids, but generally not both. If there are multiple fluids involved, O-Rings often fail to provide compatibility over a range of fluids.

The use of Cantilever, Canted Coil or Helical coiled spring allowed for long runs and lower costs. The most common spring material is Stainless Steel, but these styles of spring lend themselves to materials that have a wide range of chemical and temperature range while maintaining tensile strength.

Alternative Spring Materials

Some of the more common alternative materials are Hastelloy and Elgiloy. While 17-7 is available, it’s seldom used because Elgiloy (while more expensive per pound) is often run at a higher volume, bringing the overall cost down making 17-7 less attractive due to cost.

Another style metal spring for polymers is the Garter spring. Garter springs are normally run on a per job basis, but because it’s made from wire, it can easily be wound from any material like Elgiloy or Stainless.

Garter springs are often used in rubber style lip seals, but we often find them coupled with polymer-style seals.

Mechanical Seals

Mechanical face seals typically marry a material with the fluids the seal will be running in. Mechanical seals have the overall body and internal springs made from specific materials capable of handling variations in temperature and fluids.

PEEK in Seals

Polymers are thought of as seal materials, but PEEK has been used as a spring in polymer-style seals. PEEK can be wound into helical style springs, and also formed into cantilever springs. As a Helical style, it can be wound into a diameter to energize Teflon or rubber lip seals.

If you consider radiation service, a PEEK spring makes an excellent choice keeping metals out of the seal.

How to Choose the Right Spring Material

While there are a variety of metals, often economics determine the practicality of specialty metals.

A consideration is reviewing the hardware used in the application as to what spring material is acceptable in an application. We often review what the customer is using in the rest of the service for determining a spring material.

Temperature is often a key factor in determining materials for spring. Elgiloy tends to do an excellent job in maintaining tensile strength at elevated temperatures.


The original article can be found on Eclipse Engineering’s website and was written by Cliff Goldstein.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Eclipse engineering. For more information about choosing the right spring material for your application, contact our engineering department today.

How to Properly Measure an O-Ring

Measuring an O-Ring is quite simple when you have the right tools at your disposal. All that is required is a clean, level surface; an o-ring; and a measuring device such as a caliper or other measuring tools such as cones, gauges, and size charts.

Directions to Measure an O-Ring

To measure an O-Ring, following the directions below:

  1. Place your o-ring on a flat surface clean of debris.
  2. Determine the inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD) of the o-ring. The o-ring dimensions chart below illustrates where on the o-ring each dimension is measured.
  3. Measuring the width, or cross-section (CS), can be tricky and is measured by lightly pressing the caliper ends onto O-ring as shown in section A-A.

For more information on O-ring sizes click to see the JIS B 2401 Standard O-Ring Size Tables.

Dimensionally specifying an o-ring can typically be done with just two dimensions, the inner diameter (ID) and the cross-section (CS). Occasionally, an O-ring may be specified with an outer diameter (OD) and cross-section or an inner diameter and outer diameter. If two of the three dimensions are known, the third can be calculated using the formulas shown below.

O-Ring Dimensions

O-Ring Dimensions

 

O-Ring Dimension Calculations

o-ring dimension calculations


The original article can be found on Dichtomatik’s website. Gallagher Fluid Seals is a distributor of Dichtomatik, a brand of Freudenberg.

For more information about measuring o-rings or determining the best o-ring to use, please contact Gallagher’s engineering department.

Raising the Gasket / Surface Profile in Aging Systems

Enhancing the surface profile can improve sealing capabilities, extending the functionality of aging piping systems in chemical plants.

There are many aged and aging process plants in operation today. In fact, many of the processing plants for power, chemicals, oil, etc., have been in service for more than 50 years. And while the piping itself may remain intact, their bolted flange gasket joints and connections are becoming misaligned, corroded and damaged due to repeated handling, chemical exposure and thermal cycling. This can lead to costly ruptures that may result in millions of dollars in damages, downtime, noncompliance penalties, irreparable environmental impact and litigation.

There is a solution that can extend the life of aging piping systems, preserving their functionality: raising the surface profile on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gaskets. This design modification can prevent leaks, spills and other releases in chemical processing plants by reducing and managing the contacted area of the gasket, thus achieving and maintaining a strong seal.

A Brief History of Gasket Technology

Traditionally, gasket thickness and sealability always involved a performance tradeoff. One could use 1/16-inch-thick (1.6 millimeter) gaskets when flanges were in good condition, achieving a tight seal with reduced creep.

However, when the flanges had bad or misaligned surfaces, the seal integrity was degraded.

In those instances when the flanges are in poor condition (or if the shape of the flange condition is unknown), one would choose a 1/8-inch-thick (3.2 mm) gasket. The reason? A user does not want to risk installing a thinner gasket and discover that it does not seal properly, which then requires a timely and costly uninstall and reinstall. However, the thicker gaskets do not seal as well as their 1/16-inch counterparts when placed under comparable load. Additionally, with the thicker gaskets, creep is higher, requiring re-torque.

To address the limitations of both gasket options, the ideal gasket should combine the creep resistance of a 1/16-inch gasket with the compressibility and conformability of a 1/8-inch gasket—easier said than done.

Historically, gaskets have not always been forgiving, easy to use or simple to remove. Yet technology has evolved, allowing sealing products to be engineered and designed to optimize the work that is put into them, delivering a tighter, more durable seal.

The approach is one that does not focus on the gasket thickness but rather its surface profile. The results produce gaskets that reduce leaks, spills and other releases from piping systems, including those of aging chemical plants.

gylon epix sheet
Gylon EPIX Sheet Material

Raising the Gasket Profile

The concept of using surface profiling to reduce area and increase stress is found in many products, such as running shoes and car tires. Reducing the contact area while maintaining a given amount of compressive force results in increased stress. In the case of shoes or tires, this stress provides traction. In the case of gaskets, traction or friction between a gasket and a flange face is critical to holding internal pressure. If the downward force created by the fasteners in a flange is evenly spread over a larger area, the created stress contributes to making a seal more effective. This approach enables the aging piping system to maximize its sealing potential.

Impact on Raising Gasket Profile

Surface profiling positively impacts gasket technology in five key areas: compressibility, pressure resistance, scalability, load retention and dimensional flexibility.

Compressibility

Compressibility is a critical functionality of gaskets, as it represents the ability of the gasket to conform to the surfaces that it seals. Adding raised features to the surface of a gasket directly impacts compressibility by reducing the contact area and increasing the resulting stress.

When flange surfaces are worn, pitted or scratched—such as those in aging piping systems in chemical plants—it can be cost prohibitive and nearly impossible to repair/replace the flange to a “good as new” condition. The more compressible the gasket, the better chance of producing an effective seal with the flanges. Continue reading Raising the Gasket / Surface Profile in Aging Systems

Gallagher Fluid Seals Announces e-Commerce Store

Better and faster access to the seals you need to keep your production running.

King of Prussia, PA. October 29, 2019 /News and Updates/ — Gallagher Fluid Seals (GFS) is excited to announce the launch of its e-commerce store, providing a brand new experience to shop for seals.

“It’s been a complete team effort,” says Chris Gallagher, CEO. “Our team has worked diligently over the past several months to prepare and deliver a state-of-the art e-commerce store for both new and returning customers.”

As the world’s economy has evolved to an online platform, GFS felt seal buying should be easier. Gone are the days of calling in and ordering a replacement seal – or sending an RFQ. This new online experience allows greater and faster access to the seals you need to keep your facility up-and-running.

“Maximizing the ease-of-purchase and visibility of fluid sealing products is imperative to the future of seal buying, and that’s why we are well-positioned to help our customers for years to come,” says Chris.

To start, Gallagher’s e-commerce store will focus on six main product categories:

  1. O-Rings
  2. Gaskets
  3. Sheet Material
  4. Expanded PTFE
  5. Compression Packing
  6. Mechanical Seals

In the coming months, the full product array will be added to shop.gallagherseals.com, providing even more fluid sealing options. Specialty products such as expansion joints, bearings & bushings, rotary seals, and more will be added.

We’re excited about this new chapter in Gallagher Fluid Seals’ history, and we hope you will join us in this journey to make your seal shopping experience easier and more transparent.

Shop our new e-commerce website here:

>> shop.gallagherseals.com

For larger orders or custom-engineered sealing needs, it’s suggested that customers complete a form on our e-commerce website requesting to speak with an engineer or member of the customer service team.


About Gallagher Fluid Seals, Inc.

For 60+ years, Gallagher Fluid Seals has taken pride in being the industry leader for all things seals. Not only was Gallagher the first North American seal distributor to achieve ISO 9001 certification, but year-after-year, GFS takes steps to maintain its status as the leading distributor for fluid sealing products: In January 2019, Gallagher made an additional company acquisition – this time acquiring Quality Seals out of Bethel, CT. This strategic acquisition has been great for customers. It has helped to bolster capabilities and expand product lines while simultaneously opening a custom engineering channel to Quality Seals’ existing customers.

Contact:
Kevin Patton
Marketing & Communications Analyst
610-277-8200

Vesconite Bushings Fitted to Guinness World Record Steam Train

About Vesconite’s Hilube

Internally-lubricated, the ultra-low friction Hilube polymer has no stick-slip, doesn’t swell and provides a wear life ten times that of bronze. It machines to +/-0.001″, making it ideal for applications with tight tolerances.

Breaking World Records with Hilube

The team that was awarded the Guinness World Record in 2017 for the longest distance covered by a miniature steam train is setting its sights on improving its record.steam engine vesconite

Keyser Locomotive Works, together with the Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society was able to cover 330km (205 miles) in 24 hours in its record-breaking attempt, which outstripped the previous 1994 record of 269km covered in 24 hours.

It did so for a number of reasons, one of which was the self-lubricating Vesconite polymer bushings that were fitted to the connecting and coupling rods.

These internal, hard-to-reach turning components did not need to be oiled, and this helped reduce stopping times during the record attempt.

“You can’t oil these bushings on the run,” says the locomotive owner Andries Keyser.

This was not the case with many of the original bronze bushings that had to be oiled every hour when the locomotives stopped and the drivers were changed.

Six of the main crank bushings are currently made from Vesconite polymer bushings on the record-breaking locomotive named Doreen, but the intention is to replace all the bushings with Vesconite eventually so as to reduce oiling requirements in future record-breaking bids.

“The Vesconite has no heat expansion and, using a sloppy fit, didn’t heat up at all” Keyser notes.

“The engine output was not compromised in any way and still runs today on the same bushes, two years and many kilometers later,” he says.

Looking to the future with Vesconite Hilube

Another innovation that will assist Keyser to further improve the record is the fact that he is building the longest straightest track that he can in the Stellenbosch Winelands, in South Africa. This will enable the locomotive to run at higher speeds on a track gauge of only 184mm.

Known as the Winelands Light Railway, Keyser is establishing a theme park with 1/3-scale trains, matching buildings, bridges and tunnels, and a hobbies expo for locomotive enthusiasts once a year. Presently there are four steam and one electric locomotive in the engine shed, with 13 wagons able to haul up to 50 people per train. Everything is hand made and based on narrow-gauge prototypes from all over the world.

Starting on the 14th of December 2019, the park will be open on weekends, public and school holidays if the weather allows. This unique attraction aims to become the biggest family-friendly destination in the Western Cape within the next 10 years. 

Keyser will make another world-record attempt sometime in the near future, and expects that between 30 and 60km will be added to the current distance record.


The original article was written by Vesconite and can be found on their blog here.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a preferred distributor of Vesconite in the United States. For more information about their bearings or bushings, please contact our engineering department.

Semiconductor Fabs Lower Cost of Ownership with HiFluor Materials

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

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by Nathaniel Reis, Applications Engineer for Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.


parker hifluor processIn our semiconductor entry from last month, we noted that lowering the cost of ownership is a multi-faceted goal. We discussed how one of the areas for potential improvement is mechanical design and how the Parker EZ-Lok seal is a major solution to mechanical seal failure. In this entry, we’ll investigate a notably different type of cost-reduction opportunity – material selection – and see how Parker’s innovative HiFluor compounds can reduce seal costs to as little as half.

Critical Environments

When it comes to the seal industry, the semiconductor market is well known as one where the most premium, chemical-resistant compounds are a necessity. Microelectronic manufacturing processes involve chemistries that push the limits of what elastomeric compounds can withstand in terms of both chemical aggressiveness and variety. The perfluorinated materials (FFKM) capable of withstanding these environments require intricate manufacturing processes regulated by closely-guarded trade secrets and the significant investment of resources.

These factors drive the price of FFKM compounds to the point of being as much as 50 times the cost of any other variety. Cutting just a slice out of this cost can result in significant savings – a chance to take out a quarter or even half the pie would be advantageous to the overall bottom line. Fabricators should be continually on the lookout for more cost-effective compounds that show equal performance in their pertinent operations.

hifluor compound pictureThis is why Parker’s HiFluor compounds offer an opportunity for cost savings that shouldn’t go unnoticed. A unique hybrid of performance between FFKM and the simpler technology of fluorocarbon (FKM) elastomers, HiFluor offers the most superb chemical compatibility in the many semiconductor environments where the high temperature ratings of FFKM aren’t necessary – and at a fraction of the cost.

Not only can HiFluor be used where even FKM is lacking, but its performance in applications with aggressive plasma exposure is spectacular as well. This can be observed by its overall resistance to plasma-induced material degradation. However, Parker has also developed multiple formulations that display extremely low particle generation when most materials would be expected to suffer severe physical and chemical etch.

Solutions and Cost Savings

As an example: One major semiconductor fab had several factors (other than their seals) dictating the frequency of their preventative maintenance (PM) intervals. The fab wanted to replace their seals at these intervals as a precautionary measure to limit the chance of them becoming another PM-increasing factor. However, this caused these premium FFKM seals to be a source of inflated cost. Parker assisted with a process evaluation that resulted in over half the seals being replaced with cost-effective HiFluor O-rings, while the tool regions with more intense plasma exposure were reserved for the elite performance of Parker’s FF302.

Another major fab in the microelectronics industry switched from FKM to FFKM seals in their oxide etch process. The tool owner achieved the desired performance improvement, but soon began searching for less expensive options. The owner recognized the plasma resistance and low particulate generation of Parker’s HiFluor compound, HF355. After implementing this change, he retained the performance improvement, but at a fraction of the cost.

Semiconductor tool owners understand that their aggressive processes require the most robust, expensive FFKM seal materials. The price tag on these seals is greater than those from any other compound family. Fortunately, HiFluor is a proven sealing solution that can bridge the gap and provide the same kind of high performance at a much lower cost.


For more information about Parker O-Rings, including HiFluor, or to find a custom solutions for your application, contact Gallagher Fluid Seals today.

Interlocked Hose: Combating Common Failures

picture of metal hoseAs Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” When it comes to interlocked hose, Hose Master has had a fair share of experience.  While other product lines have been added and developed over the years, Hose Master has been manufacturing and continuously refining interlocked hose since the company opened its doors in 1982.  During that time, they’ve seen hoses both excel in the field, as well as fail from a variety of factors. However, in their decades of experience, the majority of interlocked hose failures can be attributed to one of three failure modes: torque, abrasion, and over-bending.

Torque Failures

If an interlocked hose is torqued, it can cause the profile to come unlocked from itself.

Torque is arguably the greatest enemy of interlocked hoses. In any piping installation, torque can wreak havoc on the components in the system, but this is especially true for interlocked hose given its construction. Interlocked hose is made using a single strip of stainless steel. The shaping process performed on this strip makes it able to interlock onto itself and is what gives an interlocked hose its ability to flex. When an interlocked hose is torqued it begins to ‘unwind,’ which loosens the interlocked profile, increases leakage and creates a possible unraveling of the hose. Torquing the hose is a common problem because it is often a direct result of mishandling the hose in its application, but can be prevented with proper handling. However, if a hose has been known to fail from torque consistently or will see excessive handling, manufacturers often offer varying options on interlocked hoses to help combat torque and make the hose more resilient.

Abrasion Failures

Abrasion is another common killer of interlocked metal hose. Interlocked hoses are often used in pneumatic transfer applications and the conveyed media is usually some sort of particulate. For example, powders, pellets, granules, and aggregate materials are all commonly transferred media in interlocked metal hoses. One issue with these media types is that they are known to be abrasive. While the degree of abrasiveness depends both on the media type and the speed at which the media is traveling through the hose, this abrasiveness can cause a problem. Metal hoses have a relatively smooth, hard interior which allows the material to move through it at a higher speed than other hose materials. In the case of finer media, this can result in a “sandblasting” effect, which can rapidly wear through the walls of the hose. The best way to avoid excessive abrasion is to make sure that there are no extreme bends in the hose and the hose construction is compatible with the media type. Adding a liner or using a heavier gauge of material are both good options for making the hose more robust.

Over-bending Failures

The interlocked guard on this assembly has been over-bent, causing it to pull away from the fitting.

Over-bending is the third most common failure mode seen with interlocked hoses. While interlocked hose can be quite rugged, once it becomes over bent it is much less forgiving than other hose types. Because the hose’s ability to flex comes from its interlocked profile, the flexing ability is mechanical (i.e. the metal strips sliding against each other) as opposed to the material stretching like with rubber or plastic hoses. If a hose is forced to bend beyond its capabilities, the metal profile becomes distorted and will not return to its original shape. This will negatively affect the hose’s ability to flex and transfer media, and can potentially lead to a loss of interlock. Luckily, because of the hose’s mechanical construction, you don’t have to guess where it’s bending limits are.  If the hose is being flexed to a point where it stops and the ridges are touching each other, do not continue to push as the hose has reached its bending limit.

Getting the Most from Interlocked Hose

Knowing these sources of interlocked hose failure can help prevent them in an application and, if identified early on, can be addressed in the hose’s construction before it ever sees service.


The original article was written by Abby Svitana, Market Analyst,  can be found on Hose Master’s website here.

For more information about metal hose applications, or how Gallagher Fluid Seals can help with your MRO and OEM applications, contact our engineering department.

Custom Expansion Joints – Rubber

A flexible choice can adapt to permanent misalignment, preventing future damage.

Keeping aging facilities and equipment maintained is an ever-changing task that can jeopardize the goal of maximizing uptime. Years of thermal cycling, vibration or foundation settling can disorient piping or pumps. Piping engineers will use rubber expansion joints to account for these types of challenges in a rigid piping system. Permanent misalignment can set in after years of operation. The original-size expansion joint could no longer be the best fit when it comes time to replace.

Replacing a permanently misaligned expansion joint connection with the original part could lead to reduced service life and/or missed expectations of the new expansion joint. Determining the best way to accommodate this when it comes time to replace the existing expansion joint can have long-term effects on reliability. Since the original components may not fit in the newly disoriented flange connection, they are limited in their reliability.

Types of Customization & Benefits

Expansion joints are designed to withstand the pressure retention of rigid pipes, yet be flexible and absorb misalignment induced in these systems. However, there are limits to exactly how much flexibility can be absorbed before damage occurs. Using this flexibility to connect two misaligned pipe flanges will take away from how much movement can be absorbed during the actual operational period when the system is running.

Attempting to retrofit a standard-size expansion joint to connect a misaligned pipe connection can put excessive stress on the component and could lead to a shorter operational service life. For this reason, the Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) recommends no greater than ±1/8-inch misalignment of the pipe flanges during installation. Depending on the severity of misalignment, it can be advantageous to implement  custom expansion joints to minimize the stresses that cause these joints to fail or become damaged during installation.

Maintenance crews can also benefit by having a component that will fit precisely. Concerns for safety are present when attempting to put enormous pressure to compress, elongate or offset the joint so it will fit in place.

Face-to-Face Tailoring

Stress area stretched axially
Image 1. Stress area stretched axially during installation

Years of cycling, wear and other factors can contribute to the disorientation of a particular pipe connection. The length of an expansion joint, a dimension commonly referred to as face-to-face, bridges the gap between two parallel pipe flanges. A common industry problem is created when foundations settle and piping support structures transition lower than where it was originally constructed (Image 1). Expansion joints are designed to account for this, but choosing the correct replacement will make the difference between continued reliable service life or system failure.

Stretching an expansion joint to fit the changed flange connection often results in immediate damage that is only sometimes visual to the naked eye. A stress point on the outer cover of the expansion joint will usually become visible at the transition corner between the flat portion and the base of the arch in the form of a crack. The severity of cracking, elongation and settling will be aggravated when pressure in the pipeline is turned on.

Depending on nominal pipe size, industry standards will include standard face-to-face sizes of 6, 8, 10 or 12 inches, according to the FSA. When a standard 6-inch face-to-face joint is removed, the length between flanges could have been elongated to 7 inches or more. Many expansion joint consumers are not aware of the capability to build the expansion joint to the required nonstandard 7-inch face-to-face since it is not a standard offering. Building the replacement expansion joint to the nonstandard 7-inch face-to-face will eliminate any initial stress imposed on the joint.

picture of lateral expansion joint
Lateral offset expansion joint. and Angular offset expansion

Continue reading Custom Expansion Joints – Rubber

The Many Uses of Polytetrafluoroethylene Seals (Teflon)

Better known as Teflon in the industry, Polytetrafluoroethylene is widely used in practically every industry on and off the planet (and even beneath its surface!)

Medical Uses

white ptfe o-ring-teflonThis material’s primary claim to fame is its resistance to most chemicals. It inherently has an extremely low coefficient of friction, it’s easily machined from rods, tubes, or compression-molded shapes.

It’s one of the few polymers that are approved for medical implants due to its inertness to bodily fluids — the immune system principally ignores its presence in the body.

Moving away from the body, you’ll find PTFE or Teflon products in medical devices such as heart lung machines, rotary tools for cutting, and sealing devices for maintaining fluid streams for irrigation and pumping. Tiny fragments that may come loose during usage are not harmful to the body, and simply pass through the system.

Pharmaceutical Uses

In the pharmaceutical industry, Teflon is used in the processing of drugs for equipment used to manufacture such as mixers, presses, and bushings. Teflon is found in a variety of applications, as any debris from the seal will pass through the body without consequence.

When considering press machinery (which are often water driven to ensure any leakage will not spoil the product), Teflon seals are often used to help reduce friction — especially in repetitive presses where a build-up of heat would be detrimental to the seal and the product.

Food & Beverage Uses

Mixers are another area to ensure keeping grease and other contaminants from the motor to not descend into the product from the mixer shaft.

Another area is pressure vessels where two shells are clamped together to ensure product remains sealed inside. Failure of these seals usually results in loss of product.

Non-metal bearings that don’t requiring grease in rotary motion are an excellent place for Teflon style bushings. These bushings provide long life with very low friction while not contaminating the product. Shaft wear from the bushing may be eliminated with the use of Teflon.

Types of PTFE (Teflon) Seals

Seals in the medical field can be as simple as a static O-Ring, or a mechanical face seal which is costly and requires special consideration during installation. Most dynamic applications can be resolved with spring-energized style seals, which often have very low friction and can be clean in place (CIP) if required.

There are different styles of springs, such as cantilever or canted coil that provide varying loads. The cantilever-style spring-energized seal provides a linear load based on deflection providing a high level of seal-ability. It can be silicone-filled to provide CIP for ease of washing, and there are a variety of materials that are FDA compliant and that work well in both viscous and pure aqueous fluids.

Canted coil spring-energized seals provide a unique feature of controlling the load the spring exhibits on the sealing element. This allows for control of a device being manipulated during a procedure.

The polymer properties give the user materials with the lowest possible friction, while still sealing in an application. The load from a canted coil spring allows the user to feel a tool in a catheter while passing the catheter through a tube, and still retaining a seal.

As you can see, PTFE has a variety of uses across a broad range of industries. GFS’ partner, Eclipse Engineering, manufactures PTFE and can help provide solutions to customers facing both simple fixes or complex problems.

Contact us today to see if PTFE might be the right choice for your application.


For custom engineered parts, or for more information about a variety of PTFE seals we can provide, contact Gallagher Fluid Seals today.

The original article was written by Eclipse Engineering and can be found on their website.