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High-Heat Sealing: These Are the Challenges

By Contributing Author

Seals and o-rings come in a range of different materials and can be used in a variety of applications.

These basic, round components may appear simplistic, but in reality, they have a big role to play. The right o-rings and seals can prevent leaks of fluids or gases, making them a cost-effective and efficient way to maximize productivity.

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Some common uses for o-rings include beverage containers, plumbing work, medical devices and automotive parts. In other intensive industries where equipment such as steam or gas turbines and industrial exhaust systems are used, seals need to be able to face a unique set of challenges.

Not all Materials Can Withstand High Heat

When choosing the best seals for the job, it is important to understand the unique stressors these components will face to determine their effectiveness. For example, nitrile o-rings are common, as they are a versatile seal. However, they aren’t suitable for use at high temperatures. 

Even if the material can withstand high temperatures, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the right choice. Friction, chemicals and compression can cause damage to certain o-rings and seals. It is also recommended you choose a local manufacturer, as often cheap imports will not meet the same performance standards and can falter in high-heat settings.

Comparing O-Rings and Seals

In some settings, temperatures can reach over 400 degrees F. O-rings and seals need to be reliable and resistant to this extreme heat.  

Choosing a grade with high fluorine will give you the benefit of a tight, vacuum seal, and resistance to high-octane swell and oxygenated fuel blends; for example, Ethanol and Methanol blends. Other grades can be more effective with amine-based oil protectants.  

 The Challenges of High-Heat Sealing

Seals and o-rings are common components, and almost every industry has some use for them. However, not all materials are the same, and some will not be able to withstand the pressures of high-heat sealing. Chemicals, pressure and temperatures over 400°F can place significant pressure on seals, and failures could result in damage to expensive machinery



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