Why Elastomeric Sealing is the Perfect Choice for the Wind Industry
Aug 16, 2022
As the wind industry goes from strength to strength it becomes more and more important that turbines also become more sustainable, easy to maintain and reliable. Selecting the perfect sealing is key to preventing current and future problems.
It’s important to note where wind turbines are typically erected when considering the importance of using the right materials and seals in conjunction with them. Turbines are placed in areas with extreme weather conditions such as large hills, mountainous regions and most often in the sea.
All of these varied locations have one thing in common which is the severe climate conditions they all experience. Considering this, elastomeric seals are ideal for use on wind turbines due to their enhanced durability as well as their temperature and chemical resistance.
So, what is an elastomeric seal? Well, elastomeric seals are made by cross-linking macromolecules with a number of vulcanization additives. This chemical bonding means that the seals hold their form and do not melt or decompose when they come into contact with high heat or other extreme temperature and chemical situations.
Elastomeric seals are extremely strong and durable which makes them perfect for use on wind turbines both on and offshore. Considering that the majority of wind farms are offshore, elastomeric seals make the most sense as you do not want to make maintenance calls a regular thing – this is inconvenient for all parties involved. The right seal can have a big impact on the service life of individual turbines and whole systems.
There are various forms of elastomeric seals, the most common being the O-ring but there is also room for more complex multi-component sealing systems to be used on turbines and in wind systems. The basic requirement of an elastomeric seal is that it prevents media from escaping or entering which in turn proves critical to the overall function of the system.
Using elastomeric polymers when crafting a seal means they are resistant to ozone contaminants, salty air, UV rays and extreme temperatures. These factors are unavoidable with offshore wind farms and therefore using an elastomeric seal is a perfect choice. With most rubberized seals, ozone containment will cause cracks and begin to break the material down while UV rays will affect the overall structure of the seal, this is where elastomeric seals’ chemical bond comes in to help it stave off both of these issues.
After evaluating all the previously mentioned factors and taking into consideration the effects of mechanical loads, greases and other media on the seal, we conclude that using an elastomeric seal is the best solution. The aim of NES here is to extend seal service time and subsequently improve the operating costs of wind farms and systems.
NES offers elastomeric seals in a range of different styles and sizes to suit the majority of systems currently in operation. However, we also offer bespoke seals to suit any application within the wind industry.
NES is here to support the wind industry and feels fully invested in the strive towards becoming energy sustainable – we are happy to play our part by providing top-of-the-line elastomeric seals, the best option for sealing solutions in the wind industry.