Tag Archives: FST

The New Hygienic Forseal and Hygienic Pressure Seal From Freudenberg

Strict hygiene regulations in the food industry present major challenges for sealing technology. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is enhancing its proven portfolio of hygienic sealing solutions with two products that are also designed for high-pressure applications. This was made possible thanks to special design solutions and the premium elastomer and PTFE materials developed in-house.

Food processing demands strict hygiene and cleanliness standards. It’s also important to ensure that no substances can migrate from the materials coming in contact with food, which could lead to contamination of the product. With its hygienic product line, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed sealing solutions that fulfill food industry standards and are also resistant to CIP/SIP media. The Hygienic Forseal and Hygienic Pressure Seal are the newest members of this innovative product family.

Lena Eberspach, Rainer Kreiselmaier and Sina Etter (f.l.t.r.) from Freudenberg Sealing Technologies discuss the new products of the company’s hygienic sealing solutions portfolio. Copyright: Freudenberg Sealing Technologies

One of the basic requirements for sealing solutions in accordance with the hygienic design standards is a dead-space-free construction. It prevents the collection and settling of product residues and micro-organisms in undercuts, for example. The selection of applied materials and their resistance to hot water, steam, acids, alkalis and high pressures are also relevant. Observing the deformation at the relevant temperature plays a particularly important role in detecting distortions and the associated formation of dead spaces at an early stage in the product development. Continue reading The New Hygienic Forseal and Hygienic Pressure Seal From Freudenberg

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’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.

Freudenberg Develops Next-Generation Low Friction Bearing for Improved Lubrication

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed an optimized design for its proven Levitorq axial thrust washers.

Through a new “scoop” feature, the enhanced Levitorq design is able to collect and push lubrication under the washer to enable higher critical speeds and enhanced performance. Levitorq is part of the company’s Low Emission Sealing Solutions (LESS) product portfolio.

The original Levitorq design was created to reduce weight, decrease friction, improve thickness/flatness control and often provide a cost benefit to the customer. It relies on the principles of hydrodynamic oil film technology and is designed to create a surface on which a bearing can roll, or a load can be applied. Traditionally, thrust washers are made from metals, but Freudenberg has used its material expertise and design knowledge, along with proprietary software and testing capabilities, to develop design alternatives in thermoplastic or thermoset materials that allow engineers to replace heavy metal thrust washers.

In pushing thrust washer technology further, Freudenberg engineers and material scientists looked at a variety of application parameters to optimize design performance, including thrust load, rotation speed, temperature, counter surface characteristics, lubricant type, and availability of the lubricant. A team of experts developed several scoop designs based on the types and availability of lubricants used in powertrain applications. These designs help optimize the availability of lubrication at the inner diameter, thus improving lubrication across the washer.

Nine Times the Pumping Ability, Three Times the Critical Speed

picture of levitorqPressurized or splash lubrication from the outer diameter is challenging to address because of limited fluid availability to remove heat. Recent design and material innovations from Freudenberg have enabled the use of polymeric thrust washers for such applications. The new Levitorq scoop feature significantly affects performance as it enables the application to use available fluid more effectively. Also, polymeric materials are designed to have low friction coefficients even in dry running conditions. These materials have dry friction coefficient one tenth of metal thrust washers.

Critical speed is when loss of pumping ability occurs due to centrifugal force. In a comparison between Freudenberg’s patent-pending D11 polymer thrust washer and its traditional thrust washer, the effectiveness of the new scoop design becomes obvious. The new polymeric thrust washers have nine times the pumping ability and three times the critical speed.

These designs are ideal for applications with limited or splash lubrication. The scoop feature is able to successfully move fluid under the washer to enable the application to run at higher critical speeds – up to 10,000 rpm – and pressures without failure.

An Exciting New Industrial Solution

“This patent-pending design is ideal for transmissions and driveline components, as well as a number of industrial applications,” says Ray L. Szparagowski, Technical Director Automotive and High Performance Plastics at Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies.

“Our new Levitorq thrust bearings have the potential to optimize lubrication in most applications, so the possibilities are very broad and exciting.”

Freudenberg’s LESS portfolio of engine, transmission and E-Mobility products includes a variety of seals, gaskets, encoders, accumulators, sealing modules and lightweight housings. These products have been uniquely engineered to reduce friction and weight, cut fuel consumption, ease installation challenges and lower emissions. First developed and benchmarked for automotive applications, Freudenberg has been able to leverage its LESS technology for other industrial applications resulting in a significantly shortened development cycle.


The original article was featured on Fruedenberg’s website and can be found here.

Gallagher is an authorized distributor of Freudenberg products. For more information about this low friction bearing, LESS technology, or other Freudenberg products, contact our engineering department.

A New Generation of Conductive Seals

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is developing a new generation of conductive seals designed to ensure a durable electrical connection between housings and shafts while preventing bearing damage caused by electricity and electromagnetic radiation.

In many operating conditions, the shafts used in electric powertrains are electrically insulated from their housings. The insulation is created by the lubricating films in the contact zones for the bearing and the shaft seals. Lubrication is necessary to promote long-term system functionality. Alternating current and its electromagnetic fields produce changes in the electric potential between the rotor and the stator and the rotor becomes charged. The current can only be drained off through a grounded system that allows the electricity to travel from the shaft to the housing. If there is no grounded pathway, the current flows to the area of least resistance – the bearing – and produces an abrupt discharge when electricity flows from the inner ring to the outer ring across the bearing. Discharge flashes cause surface burns and material compromises that permanently damage the system. The result: The contact surfaces in the rolling bearing are steadily and systematically destroyed. The mounting becomes noisy and the bearing must be replaced to prevent powertrain failure.

Finding the conducting element

conductive simmeringDamage from electric current must absolutely be avoided. The simple solution is to develop a lasting, reliable electrical contact between the shaft and the housing that facilitates a continuous flow of electricity and prevents excessive build up and sudden discharges. The more difficult challenge is to find a system element that can conduct the current via ongoing contact with both the housing and the shaft. As a rule, seals are made of insulating materials and are not suited for this purpose.

For several years, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has been producing an electrically-conductive nonwoven disk as a series- production system element. The advantage: It is firmly connected to the shaft seal ring and requires almost no additional installation space. The conductivity of the nonwoven is achieved with special fibers that are embedded in a matrix. The system has been used in regular-production electric vehicles for years and reliably prevents bearing damage. The electric resistance in this approach is already at a very low level, but the sealing specialists at Freudenberg continue to develop the solution further.

Power densities continue to grow in upcoming electric powertrains, increasing current, voltage and disruptive electromagnetic fields. To offer a robust solution for these situations, the company is now developing a new generation of conductive seals. The first validated, functional models in this category will be available within a few months. “Our goal is to achieve constant resistance values over a long period of operation – even in adverse conditions,” said Dr. Tim Leichner, who is responsible for Strategic Product Advance Development at Freudenberg.

A new dynamic testing procedure

To fulfill the new requirements for seals in electric powertrains, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed the appropriate test procedure to evaluate and compare the functioning of current dissipation elements. Test stand trials have shown that static measurements of the elements’ electrical resistance are not adequate to predict electrical conductivity during actual dynamic use. So development engineers in Germany developed a dynamic testing procedure that delivers alternating-current flows in the frequencies found in automobiles.

“There is the possibility of doing even more with conductive seals,” said Francois Colineau, who is in charge of the development of this product line at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “High electrical conductivity lends itself to possible shielding of disruptive electromagnetic radiation.” The exit point of the shaft from the housing, in particular, is normally a location where “impermeability” is only achieved with difficulty. At this location on every electric motor, there is a shaft seal that could help handle the shielding. It would be possible to combine the sealing of oil and other media with impermeability to electromagnetic radiation – without necessarily adding another nonwoven layer. “Perhaps we will even find an entirely new electrically conductive sealing material. We’re working on it,” Colineau said.


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

For more information about this new generation of conductive seals, contact Gallagher’s engineering department.

Freudenberg Announces New VMQ Materials

When it comes to food, Freudenberg wants to be sure that its sealing materials are free of harmful substances.

In the food processing industry, in order to guarantee food safety, both the food and the hardware that come into contact with it must meet particularly stringent criteria. These guidelines also apply to sealing materials.

picture of food processing plantIn China, specific standards were created in 2016 with the two standards GB 4806 and GB 9685, which deviate from the existing relevant American and European regulations for food-grade materials. To meet the stringent Chinese regulations, FST has now successfully tested two proven VMQ materials: 70 VMQ 117055 and 60 VMQ 117117 for their conformity with Chinese guidelines.

The Chinese standard GB 9685 specifies which ingredients may contain materials that come into contact with food in a so-called positive list. A large number of seal-relevant ingredients that conform to 21 CFR 177.2600 of FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) and European EU (Reg.) 1935/2004 are not listed here. This applies to elastomers. For a global food release, new material compositions must therefore be developed or proven materials tested for their conformity with the specifications.

Global food approvals require extensive testing

The basic requirements for gasket materials as well as sensory tests and migration tests are defined in standard GB 4806. Two of Freudenberg’s newly developed EPDM materials have successfully passed the tests: 75 EPDM 386 and 85 EPDM 387. 

After extensive testing, FST’s two new VMQ materials now meet the requirements of the Chinese standards. As an example: the silicones in the migration measurement in mg/dm2 had a result of <1, and are far below the specified limit of ≤10.

In addition to the EPDM materials which are characterized by media resistance, good processing behavior and a long service life, FST’s new silicones, 70 VMQ 117055 and 60 VMQ 117117 provide grease-resistant material selection for use in contact with food in the Chinese market.


Gallagher Fluid Seals is a preferred distributor of Freudenberg sealing. For information about Fruedenberg, or if you have needs for a custom solution, contact our engineering department.

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

The Future of Seals – Identifying and Communicating Levels of Wear

Seals do their jobs tirelessly, usually behind the scenes. Until now, machines mostly had to be dismantled to check the condition of these parts. That’s expected to change: At Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, a cross-disciplinary team is testing seals that identify and communicate their level of wear. They are based on a novel material that functions as a sensor.

It’s time for maintenance at a beverage bottling facility. Different components of the equipment are opened up, and the seals on tubes, pumps and valves are checked. If they are worn out, they have to be replaced. But if they are still intact, the check itself – a common yet expensive process – is superfluous. What would happen if the seals themselves could autonomously measure and transmit information about the level of their wear? And determine the exact point – no sooner and no later – when little of the seal lip is left and the seal has to be replaced? The future of seals may lie in self-identifying seals.

Seals Identifying Wear Automatically

A cross-disciplinary research team at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies addressed this question. Working with a customer from the process industry, experts developed a seal that measures its own wear. The key benefit: The maintenance of processing equipment – filling equipment in this case – could be performed based on actual need. Moreover, the service staff would have the opportunity to time the maintenance perfectly for the equipment’s operating schedule. Unplanned stoppages due to leaks would become a thing of the past.

Measurement Principle
The seal lip serves as an insulator. If it is worn, the capacity between the electrically conductive seal body and the housing changes.

Electrically Conductive Rubber

Seals are mostly made of elastomers that, in their pure form, are unable to process signals. To arm them with intelligence, it is possible to integrate a sensor or a microchip into a seal. But since the integrated element is a foreign body, it could impair the seal’s functioning. “So we focused our attention on approaches where the intelligence comes from the material itself,” Dr. Boris Traber, who is in charge of the development of new materials at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. The researchers equipped a sealing material with special fillers to make the elastomer electrically conductive. At the same time, the material had to have qualities that are just as functional as those of a conventional seal. And, since the seals come into direct contact with the food during the filling process, they can only contain components that are on the positive list approved by the EU and the FDA.

Electric Signal Points to Leakage

The design and measurement principles that the seal uses to convey the level of its wear are just as important as its material mixture. In this particular application, an external transducer sends an electric signal over a lead to the seal. This creates voltage between the electrically conductive portion of the seal and the external housing, and the seal lip in-between insulates the two surfaces from one another. The greater the wear of the seal, the less it can effectively insulate the two electrodes from one another. As a result, the electrical capacity changes. If you measure the change, you can draw conclusions about the condition of the seal lip.

Development to Production Readiness

This smart seal is now due to be developed to production-readiness for specific applications. The effort involves material developers, product developers, process specialists and sensor experts who are working hand-in-hand with colleagues from operating areas, the Freudenberg Sealing Technologies sales organization and the customer’s application experts. Of course, it would take a good many experts to actually make seals that were talkative. But it would be possible – that much is clear, and the future of seals is looking bright.


For more information about sealing technologies, and to find out which seal might be a fit for you, contact Gallagher’s Engineering Department.

The original article was featured on Freudenberg’s website and can also be found in the May 2019 edition of their ESSENTIAL magazine.

Tackling Flavor Transfer with Seals Made from Globally-Certified Materials

The popularity of multi-flavor drink dispensers, those touch screen wonders that offer dozens of beverage and flavor options to consumers, has grown during the past decade. Manufacturers are installing these complex machines in venues and locations throughout the world.

Elastomers and flavor transfer

But what’s great for an individual customer – a cherry-ginger-lime cream soda, for example – can play havoc with the elastomer seals inside the machine. Add in hygienic cleaning requirements and proper food contact certifications and equipment manufacturers can find themselves spending months chasing challenges like flavor transfer, leaks and material compliance approvals.

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, a leading specialist in advanced sealing applications, has a portfolio of solutions to resolve these issues. The company, which runs the business operations for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies in the Americas, will showcase a variety of globally-certified material options at the 2018 BevTech®, the annual meeting of The International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), taking place April 30-May 2 in Albuquerque, N.M.

“Flavors are almost never the same. They are a diverse mixture of ingredients with very different chemical properties.”

“Flavors are almost never the same. They are a diverse mixture of ingredients with very different chemical properties,” said Christian Geubert, Global Application Engineering Manager for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ Process Industries organization. “Some of these chemicals are very good solvents for rubber, which means they can destroy rubber seals and their performance. Only through extensive testing and analysis can industry challenges with flavor transfer and cleaning solutions be isolated, understood and successfully addressed with sealing materials and designs that address an entire range of conditions.”

Geubert will discuss the complex factors associated with flavor transfer and their impact on material properties and performance during a presentation at the 2018 BevTech® meeting. Following this presentation, Geubert and a team of Freudenberg experts will be on hand in booth #45 to answer questions and explain the advantages of a trio sealing materials including 70 EPDM 291, 70 FKM 727, and Fluoroprene® XP. Each of these materials is globally-certified for food contact in the United States (NSF-51) and the European Union (EC 1935/2004).

picture of flavor transfer seals

With its outstanding qualities in critical media, Freudenberg’s 70 EPDM 291 is the first choice for a wide variety of O-Rings, formed parts and diaphragm applications in the food and beverage industry. 70 EPDM 291 is compatible with bag-in-box (BIB) syrups, is suited for exposure to dispenser cleaning fluids, and is specifically formulated to resist flavor transfer.

Dynamic sealing at dispensing temperatures just above 32°F (0°C) is problematic for most Fluorocarbons (FKM) due to reduced flexibility. Freudenberg’s 70 FKM 727 is the only globally-certified, low-temperature FKM in the food and beverage industry. While maintaining compatibility with BIB syrups and cleaning agents, 70 FKM 727 adds best-in-class flexibility in this critical temperature range.

When standard EPDM and FKM materials fail to perform in particularly demanding food and beverage applications – including those found in high-ratio, multi-flavor dispensers – Freudenberg’s Fluoroprene® XP can be called into action. This unique, highly-fluorinated FKM is not only compatible with non-polar materials like oils, it also offers excellent compatibility with polar fluids like acids and bases and provides best-in-class flavor transfer resistance.


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

To learn more about Freudenberg products, speak to a Gallagher representative today by calling 1-800-822-4063

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.”

Continue reading Resolving Food and Beverage Challenges

Heat Shields Boost Battery Safety in EVs

Due to the growing energy density of battery systems, the developers of lithium ion batteries must satisfy ever higher safety requirements. It is especially crucial to keep a single damaged cell from overheating the entire battery module. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed a innovative heat shields for use in prismatic and pouch cells with almost no impact on the required installation space. It combines the high heat resistance of a silicone-based elastomer with the high insulating properties of air.

FST Heat Shields For Batteries The goal is greater range without the battery growing in size and weight: High energy density, which has been battery developers’ top priority, creates a basis for the broad acceptance of electric vehicles. But the more energy is stored in a confined space, the greater the safety requirements. So precautions are essential in case a damaged cell overheats. Experts call the phenomenon “thermal runaway,” and it can cause the temperatures in a cell to rise as high as 600°C. The risk is that the battery’s cooling system would not be able to drain the heat away quickly enough under these conditions. If neighboring healthy cells also heat up due to the heat buildup, a chain reaction can result that, in the worst case, could lead the entire battery system to explode.

Continue reading Heat Shields Boost Battery Safety in EVs