Rubber seals are useful in various industries, including medical, food processing, pharmaceutical, automotive, and construction. They can endure extreme circumstances, including high temperatures, chemicals, and UV light, and have good sealing characteristics. The environment in which a rubber seal is useful affects how well it works.
For instance, a rubber seal that functions properly at ambient temperature might not function at extremely high or low temperatures. This is because a rubber seal’s properties are temperature-dependent. When you use rubber when exposed to ambient temperatures, the characteristics of rubber change as it becomes hot. Thus, it could cause leakage or the seal to break. So, how does temperature impact rubber seals’ functionality? Read the article to learn about it.
The Effects of Temperature on Rubber Seals
The lifespan of a rubber seal is influenced by temperature. Its lifespan and performance depend greatly on the temperature range it runs. The rubber seal useful in a situation involving extremely high or low temperatures must be made for that temperature range. Numerous chemical connections that make up rubber keep it flexible. Because the length of each link varies, applying pressure to the rubber will cause it to deform. These chemical bonds break by heat and pressure, reducing flexibility. Overall, thermally stressed rubber seals will gradually lose their elasticity and flexibility.
Like most other materials, rubber also has a preferred temperature range. The type of rubber utilized in the seal affects these temperatures. Some can operate in temperatures as low as -40 degrees and as high as 150 degrees. The rubber will yield its elasticity and become brittle if the temperature range is high. The seal must be replaced because it is not useful for its intended purpose.
Selecting the Right Material is the Key
Rubber seals come in various varieties, and they all have distinctive qualities. Some examples include natural rubber seals, silicone rubber seals, and nitrile rubber seals. Of the three, silicone rubber seals are the most resilient to heat. They are highly heat resistant and won’t shatter or degrade over time. Thus, choosing the proper material and seal design is crucial to ensure that they can withstand temperature changes and last for a long time. Here are a handful of the most often-used rubber compounds for creating seals exposed to various temperatures.
Heavy-duty applications are best for this kind of rubber seal. Silicone Rubber, a rubber-like polymer, can withstand temperatures up to 2300 degrees. With some compounds able to sustain temperatures as high as 305 °C, it offers exceptional high-temperature resistance. The substance is ozone, oxygen, and UV radiation resistant. Silicone Rubber Components have a high gas permeability and excellent electrical insulating qualities. It is primarily useful in the production of automotive gaskets and aircraft seals.
Silicone is a weak and readily brittle substance. However, our unique compound grades offer superior tear resistance to regular silicone. The fluoro silicone elastomer material combines silicone’s extremely high-temperature stability with fluorocarbon’s great liquid resistance. Fluorosilicone O-rings exposes to sunlight at temperatures above 4000°F. Thus, it won’t degrade in the presence of air, ozone, aromatic, or chlorinated hydrocarbons.
The construction of industrial seals, gaskets, and O-rings frequently uses this material. Seals made of nitrile rubber can withstand temperatures of up to 350oF. Nitrile rubber-based seals can withstand a variety of substances, including oils, fats, and several organic compounds. It is weather and sunshine-resistant.
Polytetrafluoroethylene is a trustworthy polymer substance. It can withstand potent industrial chemicals and endure extended periods at temperatures beyond 5000°F without losing its integrity. When compared to other materials, PTFE has the least amount of friction. Additionally, PTFE has a remarkable nonwetting property and performs admirably as an electrical insulator.
Moreover, PTFE is unaffected by the majority of chemicals. It has remarkable electrical qualities, is extremely heat resistant, and has good releasing surfaces. PTFE is widely helpful in numerous industrial applications, including plumbing, HVAC, electronic appliances, pharmaceuticals, automotive, and many more.
Industrial seals of Viton rubber have numerous uses in the oil and gas sector. They are useful in high-temperature and high-pressure environments, including oil wells and pipelines. Additionally, they are employed in situations where chemical resistance to oils, solvents, and acids is necessary. Compared to traditional rubber seal types, it has a higher wear resistance. Viton rubber seals are useful as engine oil, water pumps, and timing belt seals in contemporary automobiles due to these characteristics and great temperature resistance.
EPDM rubber seals, a synthetic rubber, have a strong resistance to heat and chemicals. Any application that must withstand extremely high temperatures, such as the engine compartment of a car or hot water heating systems, benefits greatly from using this kind of rubber seal.
For many industries, Aflas® rubber seals are the perfect sealing solution. They are a strong, adaptable, and reliable product with outstanding heat and weather resistance. Aflas® seals resist most chemicals and have a low compression set over time. As a result, they are helpful in various applications, including pumps, motors, and valves.
Which rubber seal is the best?
Silicone has good weathering and UV resistance and is commonly useful in outdoor applications such as door and window sealing. On the other hand, natural rubber weathers very fast and is unsuitable for outdoor applications. Silicone is a superior option if your application includes exposure to the elements. Natural rubber is not as invulnerable to chemicals as silicone. Hence, it is frequently a preferable option for chemical sealing applications.
At DX Mold, we only use pure silicone to create our goods. The operating temperature of silicone can be formulated to reach 230 °C. Additionally, silicone is far more flame-resistant than natural rubber. The best option is unquestionably silicone for applications involving high temperatures.