Tag Archives: food and beverage

The Perfect Wave; The Gerromatic Rotary Seal

Gear motors, pumps and stirring units keep process material in constant motion in the process industry’s production facilities. A large number of shaft seals are used at drive shafts to keep liquids securely within the equipment. But leaks may be more likely to occur if the pressure acting on the seals becomes too great. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed a new rotary seal, the Gerromatic, which has a wave-shaped sealing lip. This increases the maximum amount of pressure that can be applied. The sinusoidal contact path also reduces friction and provides self-cleaning, which extends operating life.

In the process industry, including the food and beverage sector, shaft seals used in equipment mostly have a rotation-symmetrical seal lip, which abuts the rotating shaft with a groove-like contact pattern. During wet-running, this can cause the medium to be displaced at the contact surface. The seal then runs in a more or less dry condition, leading to increased friction and higher temperatures. The increased friction increases wear and reduces the efficiency of the equipment. The accompanying rise in temperature is not desirable, especially when the process media are temperature-sensitive. If the seal lip is also exposed to high temperatures at high rotational speeds – for example, due to a process material that applies pressure to the seal lip in a vessel with a stirring unit below it – the lip can fold down on the low-pressure side, which would result in immediate leakage and the seal’s failure.

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Resolving Food and Beverage Challenges

When it comes to sealing food and beverage systems against leaks, contamination and malfunctions, meeting a product specification does not guarantee that seals will function as needed, two Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies experts told a webinar audience in September. Freudenberg-NOK runs the business operations for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies in the Americas.

Food and BeverageFreudenberg’s David Clark, Operations Manager, Central Laboratory and with Ryan Fleming, Analytical Laboratory Manager, provided insight about the nature of elastomers, market trends like custom flavor combinations, regulatory requirements and the importance of material compatibility and advanced analytical testing. All of these factors must come into play when choosing the right material to produce effective elastomer components for food and beverage machinery, they emphasized during their Beyond a Spec: Choosing the Right Sealing Materials for Food and Beverage Applications webinar.

“Today’s global industry means engineering for multiple markets and diverse regulatory compliance standards, which can be challenging and expensive, so it must be considered early,” said Clark. “Simply meeting a product specification does not ensure a seal will function.”

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