Sealing specifications can provide very unique challenges when it comes to pneumatic applications. The main challenge is that most applications do not have standard dimensions often making it difficult to find the exact right solution in the automation of valves and cylinders. Sealing specifications can provide very unique challenges when it comes to pneumatic applications. The main challenge is that most applications do not have standard dimensions often making it difficult to find the exact right solution in the automation of valves and cylinders.
What is pneumatic equipment?
Pneumatic originally originates from the Greek language and is used to describe a branch of engineering that uses gas or pressurised air.
Pneumatic systems are commonly powered by compressed air or gasses to produce mechanical motions which play a huge part in our everyday lives.
The most popular application industry is automotive and seals are often required in larger amounts, meaning that a reliable and high-quality manufacturer is required to deliver innovative solutions to withstand harsh environments.
However, many of use equipment powered by pneumatic technology every day without realising, including:
- Exercise machines
- Inflatable structures (balloons, bouncy castles etc)
- Pneumatic tyres on many different vehicles
- Pressing keys on a keyboard
However, pneumatic sealing solutions are growing in demand and this means that other industries are also seeking high-quality elastomer seals.
Application areas include:
- Chemical processing
- Food and dairy
- Domestic/ consumer applications (e.g. power tools, furniture etc)
- Oil & gas
With a broad range of industries requiring seals for pneumatic applications, they also need to have specific features, omit diameter ranges from 1mm to 500mm and to be able to withstand temperatures from -40° to 200°C.
Major requirements and challenges for pneumatic seals
Pressure has a major impact on the application and functionality in pneumatic valves. Pneumatic seals require three things including, high sealing efficiency, low friction and longevity.
Sealing efficiency without pressure is guaranteed but when you add moving parts it creates a more challenging task for many industries. The compression between the seal and the joining surface is always greater than the sealing pressure with the functionality of the application.
To reduce this friction, a lubricant is frequently applied so that the seal can withstand various conditions such as high/low temperatures and sliding speed. This is where expertise also plays a huge part in the initial project scoping stage. Seeking expert advice will ensure that the correct seal has been selected for the application to perform to high standards.
The right elastomer materials
Membranes and diaphragms are typically used to control pneumatics and actuators as they are manufactured to perform reliably in a wide range of applications under harsh conditions.
Here’s a comprehensive list of materials suitable for pneumatics in the industrial sector:
The full elastomer materials guide can be found here.
With each application being unique for many different industries, it is crucial the sealing solution has been manufactured to the correct tolerances by selecting the correct elastomer compounds.
To find a high-quality sealing solution for any industry, contact our expert team who will advise you on the best way to tackle your pneumatic sealing challenges.