What are the benefits of inflatable seals?

Sep 21, 2020

An inflatable seal is an elastomeric tube that can be made from several different elastomers or can also be fabric-reinforced and custom molded in a concave, flat or convoluted configuration. It is developed to round out when inflated to ensure that a tight barrier is created between a mounting and a striking surface.

How Does an Inflatable Seal Work?

When the inflatable seal is introduced and inflated, it will expand to the striking surface which helps to create a reliable seal that can prevent liquids and gases from escaping. When the inflatable seal is removed, the seal will retract to a deflated configuration. This helps to create a level of clearance that enables one or both surfaces to move freely.

How Is an Inflatable Seal Inflated?

Naturally, the most commonly used medium when inflating a seal is regulated air. The inflatable seals have to be inflated in line with the specific parameters of the application to help achieve the optimum operating pressure. In certain instances, some applications may require liquid to inflate the seals. This medium is introduced through a stem which is commonly a flexible hose that is securely connected to the inflatable seal using an integrally molded fitting.

What Are the Benefits OF An Inflatable Seal?

There are a number of reasons why an inflatable seal would be used over other sealing methods. Of course, the correct seal has to be used but an inflatable seal does provide a wealth of benefits.

An inflatable seal provides a leak-proof seal when preventing gases or liquids from escaping while it also provides clearance when required. It also provides a simplified design of the structure and hardware while it reduces the need for close machining or fabricating tolerances. Along with this, it is not exposed to compression set which can reduce the effectiveness of other seals.

Inflatable seals can be installed in a wide range of settings, whether that is radially in, radially out or axially.

So, inflatable seals are suitable for specific uses and provide an effective solution for many different applications. They are perfect for moulding to contoured shapes, offering greater flexibility while they can be inflated to suit the specific requirements of the manufacturing process.

If you think an Inflatable Seal could benefit your application, speak to our Sales Team at sales@nes-ips.com