Rubber seals are used in everything from faucets and pumps to industrial machinery. Although they are often small, seals are an extremely important part of most equipment, and if the seals wear down, the equipment won't work as expected. Want your rubber seals to last as long as possible? Then, keep these tips in mind.
1. Start With Quality Seals
If you want something to last, you need to start with a high quality product. Make sure you invest in the best quality seal you can find. If you can't find the right size of seal for your needs, opt for a custom rubber seal so that it fits perfectly.
It's also important to ensure you get the right material for your needs. The phrase "rubber" seals can refer to seals that are made of different types of rubber. For instance, it may refer to synthetic rubber such as fluoroelastomer, but it may also refer to things such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber. In other cases, the term can be used as a catch-all term to refer to silicone or polyethylene seals which aren't really rubber. Work with a specialist to ensure you get the right materials for your needs.
2. Use Machinery as Directed
When rubber seals are part of your equipment, you need to follow the manufacturer's instructions for that product. To illustrate, take the case of a commercial carpet cleaning machine. This has various seals throughout it that keep it watertight. However, these machines generally have instructions about which soaps or cleaners you can put in the machine.
If you don't follow those instructions, you may damage the seals. For instance, imagine that you decide to put vinegar in the machine. This can sound like a good idea in theory. Vinegar is well known for getting out a range of carpet stains. However, the seals on your machine may not be designed to withstand exposure to that type of acidic liquid. As a result, not following the instructions in this case may cause your seals to wear down.
3. Don't Let the Seals Dry Out
Rubber seals in particular can get dry and brittle. If the seals get too dry, they may start to crack and break. To avoid this, make sure that you store your seals in a climate-controlled environment. Some people recommend applying a product such as WD40 to rubber seals, but you should only do this if it's been approved by the manufacturer. In some cases, this product and similar ones can actually cause the seals to wear down.
4. Shield Seals From Direct Sunlight
In a lot of cases, rubber seals are tucked away out of sight. However, in some cases, seals are completely exposed to the light. Indoor light usually doesn't present a threat to seals. However, if you are storing your machinery outside, you may want to throw a tarp over the equipment when it is not in use. That protects the seal from harsh UV rays which can cause them to break down and disintegrate.
5. Keep Seals Away From Freezing Temperatures
It's not just the sun that can be a threat. Freezing temperatures can also cause seals to get brittle, which can also lead to cracking or breaking. In general, try to keep rubber seals away from freezing temperatures.
However, if your rubber seals are affixed to a freezer door or anything else that is designed to work in freezing temperatures, this precaution is not possible. In those cases, just make that you choose the right seal and take care of it as directed.
To learn more tips on helping your seals to last as long as possible, contact a rubber seal specialist.