Critical Applications and Metal Detectable O-Rings

Jul 29, 2020

As a result of exposure to high temperatures as well as vibration and corrosive clean-in-place chemicals, it is common for O-rings that are used in industrial processing operation to fail. When this happens, fragments of rubber from gaskets and seals can shear off and that can mean that they then find their way into sanitary systems and even enter the product stream.

In many instances, the issue does not need much more than a short stoppage of the process in order to replace the O-ring.  However, this can prove to be a problem because of the fact that products that are made for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries and for human consumption are highly regulated and so, this can come with further problems.

In situations such as these, it can mean that the machines must be shut down by operators to carry out a visual inspection in order to locate the part that has contaminated the system. This then leads to unscheduled downtime, production losses and a reduction in safety. Should a fragment of rubber lay undiscovered and it then manages to reach the supply chain, the issues that can arise from this are extremely problematic and costly, especially if the product must be recalled.

Therefore, metal/x-ray detectable elastomer O-rings and seals have been developed to ensure that they meet the challenging demand of the food and pharmaceutical industries. In other industries, where resistance is required against temperatures and chemical and forms part of the key seal selection criteria, in food and pharmaceutical applications have to adhere to strict cleanliness and regulatory guidelines. These help to keep the entire process safe for consumers.

Metal/x-ray detectable O-rings can help to speed up the process of identifying them should they fail and this can help to reduce the risk of contamination through early detection and containment. As a result, there is a reduction in the risk of polymers finding their way into the final product and the supply chain. Should the rubber from a standard seal fail and break down and then find its way into the product then this becomes almost impossible to detect while it is also very time-consuming.

Using conventional metal/x-ray detection techniques, metal/x-ray detectable seals can be easily detected and identified. Therefore, should a fragment of elastomer be identified, it is possible to halt the production line before efficiently removing the contaminated products to prevent them from entering the supply chain. Even pieces that are as small as 2mm can be identified.

Metal/x-ray detectable O-rings and seals can be manufactured in a range of compounds/colours and they all provide a feasible solution to a significant problem.

What Are The Benefits of Metal/x-ray Detectable O-Rings?

First of all, they are extremely easy to detect and that can help to prevent product recall and product loss. Therefore, it prevents the distribution of products that have been contaminated while they can be used in all standard OEM equipment. What’s more, they are also developed for both mechanical, microbial and high-temperature applications.