There are seals for practically every situation – sometimes, the most difficult decision is narrowing down from all possible options that could work for your project. From o-rings to x-rings, gaskets to hydraulic seals, chances are whatever seal your project requires, it’s out there.
Therefore, when working on selecting the seal option or options for your projects, the first step should always be doing the research necessary to determine if the right selection is already readily available. This will cut down on manufacturing costs and time restraints.
But that doesn’t mean there’s never a situation where specialty seals are needed. Quite the opposite, in fact. With today’s new technology advances creating types of machines and applications previously unseen, the market for specialty seals is increasing. Especially in aerospace, industrial, and life sciences applications, specialty seals can be the best long-term option to ensure the seal can withstand all the situations in which it will be used.
SPECIALTY SEALS AT A GLANCE
The “specialty” part of specialty seals often refers to a modification of an existing seal type to fit a particular application. Often, this modification stems from a smaller number of project characteristics than what is normally present, and where a previously-engineered product would fit.
When looking to select a specialty seal, it is advised to work with a supplier who has a presence in both the custom/specialty markets and in products that are more widely available. As previously mentioned, there are seals for almost every situation; chances are, most of the requirements for your project will be met using an already-existing product as the base. Whether it’s retrofitting the rod seal elements in a hydraulic or pneumatic seal or manipulating a sanitary gasket, this approach will save time and money in both engineering and manufacturing.
So what should be factored into the decision to go with a specialty seal? Just like almost every other decision on a project, cost and timeline constraints are the top considerations. For this situation however, the long-term impact can outweigh the short-term shortfalls. A project where specialty seals are implemented may have more of an impact on the short-term budget and time side of the project, implementing the perfect seal for the project will cut down immensely on long-term costs and time for replacements, fixes, or project failures.
Another question to be answered should be whether an examination of the project elements that are causing the potential need for a specialty seal. For instance, if there’s a possibility for extreme heat being applied to the seal, so much so that a special heat-resistance product is needed, then looking at whether there are other factors that need to be included in the design will often push for a specialty seal, instead of one that simply performs well under extreme heat. Sometimes these additional forces aren’t immediately noticeable, so when looking at a specialty seal, take the opportunity to identify how many elements need to be highlighted.
HOW WYATT CAN CREATE YOUR SPECIALTY SEAL
Wyatt has the products and the manufacturing abilities to help you engineer and create a specialty sealing solution for your unique needs. We can custom mold parts to create your specialty seal in a myriad of materials, dimensions, colors and more.
We can also make your specialty part quickly and exactly as engineered using our in-house CNC machines. Not only can we make full-order manufacturing runs, but with the tools in-house we can create prototypes, proof-of-concept or small batch runs to fit what will work for your project.