Over time, exposure to extreme temperatures, continuous vibration, and corrosive clean-in-place (CIP) chemicals can cause O-rings in industrial processing operations to fail. When this occurs, fragments of rubber from seals and gaskets can shear off and work their wat into sanitary systems and enter the product stream.
In many cases, this issue requires little more than a short stoppage to replace the O-ring. However, in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical processing operations, where the end-product is meant for human consumption and quality is tightly regulated, it can be much more problematic.
In these situations, operators must often shutdown equipment and conduct visual inspections to locate the contaminant in the system. This results in unscheduled downtime, a loss in production, and decreased safety. If a fragment of rubber goes undiscovered and reaches the supply chain, the implications can be extremely costly, especially if the product requires a recall.
Metal detectable elastomer O-rings and seals have been specifically developed to meet the ever increasing demands of the food and pharmaceutical industries. Unlike other industries where chemical or temperature resistance is the key seal selection criteria, food and pharmaceutical applications must also meet cleanliness and regulatory challenges.
Metal detectable O-rings help reduce the risk of product contamination by early detection and containment of contamination. They decrease the risk of polymers finding their way into the finished product and supply chain. If the rubber from a standard seal were to break down and find its way into the product, it would be extremely difficult – if not impossible, costly and very time-consuming to detect.
Metal detectable seals are easily detected by most conventional metal detection techniques that are already in place on production lines. Should a fragment of elastomer be detected, the production line can be stopped immediately, and any contaminated products can be quickly removed, well before they reach the supply chain. Fragments as small as 2mm can be identified by metal detector equipment.
Eastern Seals (UK) Ltd can provide a range of metal detectable O-rings and seals manufactured from Silicone, Nitrile, EPDM and FKM compounds. The seals are available in blue or black for easy product identification, and offer extended lifetime performance.
Benefits of Metal Detectable Seals include:
- Easy to detect lost elastomeric fragments
- Prevent product recall
- Reduces product loss
- Stops distribution of contaminated product
- For use in standard OEM equipment
- Designed for microbial, high-temperature and mechanical applications
Eastern Seals supplies a full range of metal detectable o-rings in AS568 and metric standard sizes. Contact us today to speak with one of our technical sales team and learn more about metal detectable o-rings. Contact us by phone, +44 (0) 1670 840529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to learn more about materials for the Food Processing and Pharmaceutical industries? Read our article on High-Performance Materials for Food Processing