Category Archives: sealing technology

Case Study: 3-A® Compliant Rod Seal Capable of Handling High-Pressure

Valves are indispensable components in the hygienically sensitive systems used in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Until now, there were no high-pressure valves available for food-product contact applications that conformed to 3-A® standards. These global hygiene standards address the design and manufacturing of components that come into contact with food.

Bardiani Valvole approached Gallagher’s partner, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, for help in developing a solution to tap into its material expertise. As a result of joint cooperation, Freudenberg engineers developed a main rod seal that was both 3-A® compliant and capable of handling high-pressure of up to 2175 psi (150 bar) that the customer’s valve required. The main rod seal incorporates proven Freudenberg technology with advanced component design in an entirely new combination that is also compatible with other industrial high-pressure valves.

picture of valve example
Copyright: Bardiani Valvole Spa

Prototypes produced without any tools

The 3-A® compliant main rod seal combines a sealing lip, manufactured from EPDM 302 or Fluoroprene® XP 43, with a backup ring made of PTFE. Freudenberg’s product engineers were inspired by the design of a proven shaft seal and an O-ring with a backup ring. In order to meet development and cost deadlines, the team initially produced one-off prototypes to share with Bardiani Valvole using the unique capabilities of Freudenberg Xpress®, a fast turnaround, high-quality manufacturing service that can generate custom seals in as little as a day. It offers machined seals made of original materials and original profiles for prototypes, spare parts or economical small series.

By eliminating the need to set up manufacturing tooling to produce sample parts, this results in considerable cost and time advantages for the customer. Thanks to special turning and milling techniques, individual designs can be tuned to exact specifications. The tailor-made sealing solution for the new high-pressure valve could also be produced economically in an extremely short time. The Freudenberg Xpress® Service is represented at numerous Freudenberg sites worldwide, enabling rapid delivery of spare parts, for example.

The seal’s design is free of dead space and prevents residue infiltration from process and cleaning media. It is hygienic, easier to clean, and compliant with all relevant material specifications for food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industry applications. Both materials used have very good thermal resistance and excellent mechanical properties. They also meet the demanding requirements for use in Cleaning in Place and Sterilization in Place (CIP/SIP) processes. Continue reading Case Study: 3-A® Compliant Rod Seal Capable of Handling High-Pressure

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Launches Modular Sealing Unit

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed a new, innovative sealing concept for small, electric household appliances. // Copyright: Freudenberg Sealing Technologies 2020

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has launched series production of a modular sealing unit that combines a classic radial shaft seal with a plastic outer case. The design promotes better long-term seal performance and longevity, is easier to assemble, and significantly lowers manufacturing costs in comparison with traditional metal-encased radial shaft seal units. Freudenberg has developed the innovative sealing concept for use in general industry applications that are especially focused on small, electric household appliances.

Whether it’s to knead bread dough, mix a cake batter, puree soup ingredients or blend a smoothie, most people reach for an electric kitchen appliance to get the job done. The durability of the appliance depends largely on how well the seal at the outlet point of the drive shaft protects the interior from ingress of food residue or liquids. Seals made of high-quality elastomers or the polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) combine low wear with excellent long-term resistance against leakage. In the past, a metal case was the best option available to maintain the integrity of the seal’s performance over a long period of time. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has now succeeded in developing a modular sealing concept with a plastic case that meets the specific requirements for long-term performance as well as those made of metal. There are three major advantages to the new design: Significantly, in the price-sensitive, small appliance industry, the lower production costs associated with forming enclosures from plastic is an important consideration. In addition, Freudenberg’s modular sealing unit concept accommodates the integration of additional components, such as shaft bearings. Finally, because small appliance housings are typically made from plastic, fastening the seal case to the appliance housing is easier to achieve. Continue reading Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Launches Modular Sealing Unit

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 gasket material for servicing your specific application.

EPDM Sheet and Gaskets: Peroxide Curing

EPDM compounds cured with peroxide possess a superior chemical and thermal resistance compared to compounds cured with sulfur. Peroxide-cured EPDM can withstand temperatures up to 300°F (150°C) whereas sulfur cured EPDM can only resist temperatures up to 250°F (120°C). The extended temperature service range of peroxide-cured EPDM makes it a preferred choice for producing gaskets to service higher temperature applications.

In addition to extending the serviceable temperature range of EPDM compound, a peroxide cure also improves the heat stability, modulus, compression set, and aging resistance of the compound. Peroxide-cured EPDM also has less tendency to bloom and better preserves its colour during the curing process. Finally, peroxide curing of EPDM promotes co-polymerization of the compound with polymerizable plasticizers or agents designed to give controlled hardness and stiffness to the final product.

EPDM Sheet and Gaskets: Sulfur Curing

Sulfur-cured EPDM generally exhibits higher tear and tensile strength. These properties may be important in applications where higher strength and resistance to tearing are desired. The following table summarizes the essential differences between peroxide-cured and sulfur-cured EPDM sheet:

Peroxide-Cured EPDM

  • Good resistance to ageing
  • Higher temperature resistance
  • Lower compression set
  • Unlikely to bloom or discolour
  • Will not stain metals or PVC
  • Improved resistance to chemicals and oils

Sulfur-Cured EPDM

  • Higher tensile strength
  • Higher tear strength
  • Permits use of a wider range of fillers

The original article was written by staff at the Canada Rubber Group and can be found here.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a stocking distributor of EPDM sheet rubber and other EPDM sealing solutions. For more information, please contact us today.

Sealing Solutions for Large Diameter Rotating Shafts: ZAVA V-Rings

First, What is a V-Ring?

The function of a V-Ring seal, or V-Ring, is to act as a centrifugal seal acting against the bearing face, pushing dirt and contaminants away from the bearing area.  V-Rings are not designed to seal against fluids or pressure differentials. However, as stated above, they are excellent at excluding all sorts of contaminants. They provide effective protection against loss and maintenance, reduce wear, increase the life of the retainer and bearings, and also work well in dry running applications.

V-Ring Applications

picture of zava seal v-ring
The most innovative V-Ring on the market: The Zava Seal with a quick-lock mechanism.

V-Rings are suitable for a whole range of sealing applications as well as rotary shaft applications such as electric motors, pumps, and agricultural machinery. This type of seal has proved to be reliable and effective against penetrating impurities such as dirt, sand, dust, greases, and splashes of water & oil in a variety of industries:

  • Pulp and paper
  • Steel mills
  • Cement mills
  • Mining
  • Rolling mills
  • Power generation
  • Fluid power
  • Chemicals
  • Food & Drink

How Do V-Rings Work?

V-Rings are flexible rubber seals that work by stretching and fitting onto a shaft and then rotating with the shaft against a counter face. They are designed to give the lips an automatic sealing action. They help to increase the sealing area by providing secondary sealing as pressure acting on the platform ring.

The Split V-Ring with ZAVA Quick-Lock

The V-Ring from ZAVA® Seal has a unique patented quick-lock that can be assembled quickly and easily, and in some cases can be installed without shutting down the filter. Because it’s mounted without vulcanizing, machinery downtime is significantly reduced. When “snapped in place,” the locking technology makes it impossible to detach. The quick-lock mechanism is made of acid-proof steel (SS 2343).  The split V-Ring from Zava can be made in many different lengths and cross sections and also in several different types of materials, specifications, and profiles.

Advantages of the Split V-Ring With ZAVA Quick-Lock

  1. Split and lockable
  2. Fast and easy to assemble
  3. Unique and patented quick-lock
  4. Elastic and workable
  5. Reduction in fiber loss
  6. Maximum leakage reduction
  7. No wear of the shaft
  8. A variety of different sizes

How Does the Quick-Lock Work?


For more information about the Zava Seal and to see if it might be the right fit for your application, contact Gallagher’s Engineering Department today.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Zava Seal.

Freudenberg’s New Plastic Rotating Bearing

In an innovative first, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has introduced a machine component that combines a plastic rotating bearing with a seal in a single, precisely matched unit.

The design offers significant weight, cost and friction advantages over separate bearings and seals and also improves the properties of the mated bearings and seals. Freudenberg has validated the advantages of this new component through extensive testing performed in a sensor housing unit including the seal-bearing component.

While mostly hidden from view, seals and bearings are nonetheless important components in automotive and industrial applications. They are key elements in operational safety and performance and their durability must be optimized to prevent system failure. At the same time, these bearings and seals must be small, lightweight and cost efficient in keeping with manufacturers’ efforts to remove cost and weight from vehicles without sacrificing performance.

Freudenberg has resolved this challenge with the introduction of its seal with integrated bearing (SWIB). The company spent two years developing this engineered solution and has successfully tested it in a sensor housing of a an electric power steering (EPS) system installed in an electric powered vehicle.

The sensor records data, like steering angle, which is critical to advanced driver assistance programs like electronic stability control (ESC). The seal inside the housing is responsible for protecting the sensor from the penetration of dust, splash water and other media over the entire service life of the vehicle. Bearings used in the assembly are also important; they must withstand significant mechanical loads – sometimes as much as 3,000 Newton (675 lbs) of radial force when a car drives over a curb with its wheels at an extreme angle.

Integrated system can reduce loads and vibration

picture of FST seal with integrated bearing

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ integrated solution offers significant improvements compared with separate bearings and seals. The rigidity of the integrated plastic bearing is higher so that its deflection is reduced by nearly 50 percent when lateral forces are exerted. This reduces the induced vibrations to increase the steering comfort for the driver. The seal, on the other hand, has 35 percent less friction, which reduces resistance during steering – especially important for highly automated driving. The weight of the overall solution is reduced by as much as 80 percent through integration. Freudenberg’s patented plastic bearing plays a major role in achieving these component breakthroughs.

Automotive safety applications are subject to many requirements which individual manufacturers define according to their own specifications. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies used common specifications – a temperature resistance of -40°C to 125 °C (-40°F to 257°F) under mechanical stress, for example – to test its integrated component during the past year. Extreme cases, such as direct exposure to high water pressure, which can occur in practice during engine washing, were also tested. The seal that includes an integrated bearing proved itself in all tests. “We can now commence with customer-specific series development at any time,” says Freudenberg expert Frank Schönberg.

The design offers significant weight, cost and friction advantages

Product experts at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies are already researching additional industrial applications for the new component. In addition to automotive applications, seals with integrated plastic bearings can likely bring benefits to many industrial operations. Freudenberg is also looking to the manufacturing process for further innovation: If the seal/bearing unit is currently still being assembled, it could be produced using new materials in an integrated two-component injection molding process in the future.


The original article can be found on Freudenberg’s website.

 Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. To see if this seal is a right fit for your application, contact our engineering team today.

Metal Detectable & X-Ray Detectable Rubber Materials

Food, Beverage, and Pharmaceutical Regulations

picture of metal detectable o-ringStringent government regulations mandate that food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturers keep foreign material out of ingredients to ensure food and drug safety for consumers. Preventing foreign material from entering the processing stream is of the utmost concern but there must also be measures in place to detect contaminated product and quarantine it before distribution.

Component parts that are used in food and drug processing equipment can become damaged by improper installation and/or excessive shear experienced during operation that causes fragments of rubber, plastic, and metal to contaminate ingredients. Chemicals used for cleaning and sterilization of equipment can cause rubber seals to degrade, increasing the probability of particles breaking off and entering the consumable products. Part failures causing product contamination can lead to machine down time, scrap product, product recalls and result in legal problems and negative media attention. All of which have a significant financial impact and can compromise brand loyalty within the market.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)

picture of precision metal detectable o-ringsMany processing operations now employ HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) programs which stipulate that all parts have to be metal detectable and X-ray detectable. This made it necessary to develop special rubber materials that would allow food processors to conduct routine inspections for this type of contamination utilizing in-line metal detectors and X-ray machines. Rubber must be compounded with special additives to make detection possible. However, certain foods have phase angles similar to metal detectable rubber so a complete understanding of the rubber product’s application is necessary for proper compound selection.

Metal Detectable O-Rings | X-Ray Detectable O-Rings

Precision Associates has developed four Metal and X-Ray detectable materials made with ingredients sanctioned under FDA Title 21 CFR 177.2600.

All four materials are 3A Sanitary 18-03 approved and are available in Silicone, Nitrile, EPDM, and FKM. Each is 70 durometer and blue in color. (The industry standard color is blue but materials can be colored for specific customer requirements and any polymer can be made metal detectable).

All compounds were tested by an independent laboratory and found to have magnetic properties that exceed industry standards.

picture of compound table precision o-rings


The original article was written by Precision Associates, Inc. and can be found here.

For more information about what Gallagher can offer through Precision Associates, or to talk to a technical sales expert about these materials, contact us today.

Accurate Long-Term Predictions for Seals

The static seals used in large energy and industrial facilities can be challenging to install and difficult to replace. They must, therefore, function flawlessly for periods longer than 20 years. Up until now, the existing tools used to calculate the long-term performance of sealing materials for these kinds of applications have often led to the components being larger than actually necessary.

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has now developed a method that takes into account the material changes at the molecular level when predicting the long-term durability of seals. The new methodology is more reliable than previous models and ensure fewer materials to be used.

picture of wind turbinesThe seals used in plant engineering must have a very long service life. Once they are installed – to protect offshore wind turbine towers from salt corrosion, for example – customers typically require that they perfectly fit for more than 20 years. The service life of a seal is limited based on two things: First, by setting or stretching (physical relaxation). And second, chemical changes cause the material loses its elasticity over time.

Under the influence of atmospheric oxygen or ozone, two basic effects that influence the aging of seals can be observed: First, the polymer chains and networks can fracture under mechanical stress, and second, additional oxygen bridges can develop in the network as a result of oxidation processes. Both effects influence important properties of relevance for seals such as stiffness, contact pressures or the ability to regain their original shape after deformation, also referred to as resistance to deformation.

Extrapolation with the Arrhenius Equation

To determine whether a material actually meets the requirements for a specific application, engineers usually conduct so-called “storage tests” in which the test specimen is exposed to temperatures well over 100° C for a longer period of time – usually 1,000 hours – to predict temperature-dependent aging. Engineers typically extrapolate the measured values using the Arrhenius Equation, a method named after the Swedish chemist and Nobel Prize winner Svante August Arrhenius. Continue reading Accurate Long-Term Predictions for Seals

Sealing Solutions for Drinking Water and Service Water Systems

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

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website and was written by Dr. Stefan Reichle, Market Unit Manager, Engineered Materials Group Europe.


picture of drinking waterWherever drinking water is obtained from any of its sources, pumped and processed, materials with low extraction levels and without any harmful ingredients are required. Sealing compounds for use in drinking water and heating applications are subject to diverse approval regulations. These regulations serve to assure the safety of water from the time of intake, via treatment, processing and transportation through to the consumer. Practically every country in the world has its own drinking water regulations specifying particular tests and including lists of approved ingredients. These regulations are complemented by physical and microbiological examinations.

The Parker Engineered Materials Group has developed a number of compounds, each of which meets a wide range of the required approvals, thus permitting the global utilization of sealing systems.

New universal compound combines excellent compression set and improved resistance against autoxidation

The peroxide-crosslinked plasticizer-free EPDM compound EJ820 was specifically developed for use in drinking water applications. The material conforms to all standard national and international drinking water approvals such as KTW, W270, W534, EN681-1 including the supplementary requirement, W534, NSF61, KIWA, WRAS, ACS. The material’s low compression set guarantees long life and thus permanent and reliable sealing of all fittings, valves and pipe systems. In addition, EJ820 exhibits enhanced resistance against autoxidation.

Parker materials cover a broad range of drinking and service water applications

  • Seals for solar thermal energy systems
  • Bathroom taps and shower heads
  • Press fittings
  • Heater valves and valve blocks
  • Drinking water applications
  • Heater pumps

Below are Parker material compounds and associated specifications:

picture of parker compounds

picture of regulations for drinking water


For more information about Parker products that are applicable for drinking water and service water systems, contact Gallagher’s engineering department.

The Danger of Complacency in Equipment Selection & Installation

Ensuring the correct materials are suitable for the application

When working with valves, flanges, and pumps, operators should never be complacent. The wrong gasket or packing in a deadly application could result in loss of life. Ensuring the correct materials are suitable for the application requires special attention because safety is critical. As Gordon DeLeys, compliance assistance specialist at the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), said, “Safety should not be a company priority since priorities in an organization can and usually change. Safety and health need to be a core value of an organization. Safety is really a case of values versus priorities.”

picture of uss iwo jima
The USS Iwo Jima was an amphibious assault ship that experienced a catastrophic event in October 1990.

In October 1990, the USS Iwo Jima was heading into port for routine maintenance in Manama, Bahrain. The ship was the first to be designed and built from the keel up as an amphibious assault ship in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, on Sept. 17, 1960.

Small packing leak can turn catastrophic

Valve 2MS-7 was a globe valve in the boiler room, and it needed to be repacked for a small packing leak and reconditioned while in port. The valve was worked on by an outside contractor who had limited understanding of military specifications and procedures.

The mechanic—who had 10 years of experience—decided to replace the fasteners on the bonnet because they were worn. Apparently, the mechanic asked one of the boiler room personnel for new nuts and bolts and was given permission to look through the boiler room’s spare parts bins. He selected four bolts, eight studs and 20 3/4-inch nuts. The mechanic had not noticed that some of the nuts were brass. Because those fasteners were covered with a manufacturer-applied black coating, they were mistaken for the correct grade 4 steel nuts. Closer examination and use of a scratch or magnetic test would have revealed their metal content, but instead the black brass nuts were installed.

The next day the valve was reinsulated with lagging. The foreman had not inspected the work done on 2MS-7.

The valve should have been reassembled using only B-16 steel studs—anything else was a violation of good engineering practice based on the service condition.

When the brass nuts were used on the studs holding down the bonnet of the valve, no one realized this was a critical mistake since the valve was going to be in service above 800 F and the temperature limit for brass is 400 F.

On Oct. 30, 1990, in preparation to get underway and proceed to her operating area, fires were lighted in the boilers of the vessel.

Shortly after, one side of 2MS-7 was initially pressurized with steam generated from Boiler No. 1. Three hours later, valve 2MS-7 was opened to supply steam to the generator that supplied electrical power to the vessel.

As steam at 600 pounds per square inch (psi) and 850 F began flowing through the valve, the brass nuts were expanding at a greater rate than the steel studs. The bolts started losing the strength to secure the bonnet to the valve body. After less than 30 minutes of operation, the valve failed catastrophically. Continue reading The Danger of Complacency in Equipment Selection & Installation

Friction Reduction in the Seal

Wettablility of the Sealing Lip

The optimum function of rotary shaft seals depends on many factors. One of them is the “wettability” of the sealing lip. This parameter plays a particularly important role with synthetic lubricants such as polyglycol. If wetting is too low, not only does wear on the sealing lip increase, but the contact with the rotating shaft can also damage the shaft itself. The engineers at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) and Freudenberg Technology Innovation (FTI) have developed a new coating that forms a flexible bond with the elastomer of the seal and significantly improves wetting with synthetic lubricants.

Thanks to different materials and shapes, radial shaft seals for sealing rotating shafts can be used in a wide variety of industrial applications. What they all have in common is the demand for the lowest possible friction, low wear, and reliable sealing effect. Optimum lubrication of the entire tribological system depends on permanent wetting of the sealing lip.

This poses a particular challenge for poorly wetting lubricants based on polyglycol, which are used in drive technology, for example in worm gears. Too little wetting increases wear on the sealing lip and can also lead to increased shaft runout due to contact with the shaft, which ultimately necessitates replacement of the machine parts.

A flexible bond over a long service life

picture of friction reductionFST has developed the new 75 FKM 585 plus coating to achieve optimum lubrication in gears and pumps with synthetic lubricants. “We have succeeded in coating the sealing lip in such a way that polar oils distribute much better,” explains Dr. Matthias Adler from FST’s global materials development department in the Simmerring Industry division. “The mechanics of the layer have been modified so that it forms a flexible bond with the elastic material of the elastomer over a long service life – even under dynamic load. In addition, the coating is applied where no wear occurs.” The current development was specially designed for customers who already use the standard Simmerring 75 FKM 585 in drives for which the use of polyglycol oils is recommended by the manufacturers.

The elastomer is coated using plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (PE-CVD). In this process, the elements in the process gas form a chemical bond with the surface of the base body. The decisive criterion for the optimization of the wetting behavior is the targeted modification of the interaction between the coating and the synthetic lubricant. The measurements show that by using special components in the new surface coating such as carbon, oxygen and silicon in a certain molar ratio, optimal wetting can be achieved compared to the standard material 75 FKM 585.

New technology can be transferred to other materials

The layer thickness of 75 FKM 585 plus is a few hundred nanometers and its properties meet the standards of the manufacturers of industrial gear units with regard to oil/elastomer requirements. Although it is designed for particularly low wear at high revolutions, it has been shown that the coefficient of friction is significantly lower than that of the standard material, even at low speeds such as in the breakaway forces and mixed friction ranges. The newly developed technology is not limited to applications with FKM, adds Dr. Adler, “but can also be transferred to other materials. Initial tests on NBR and EPDM have also shown positive results in optimizing the interaction between coating and poorly wetting oils.”


The original article was published by Ulrike Reich, head of media relations & internal communications at FST.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. For more information about how we can help with your specific application, please contact our engineering department.