For manufacturers and maintenance, the question of how to store seals comes to the surface to best utilize their investment in seals
In any fluid power industry the importance of proper seals and proper seal fit is of great concern. The function and proper fit of a seal can be altered when rubber seals and other rubber molded products are not stored in a proper way. Excessive heat, humidity, sunlight and the presence of ozone can cause physical property changes in the structure and effectiveness of the seal. Careful choice of correct storage of rubber seals will prolong the life and usefulness of the seal.
Temperature: The ideal temperatures of your seals in storage should stay between the ideal ranges indicated for the materials. Excessive heat can cause deterioration to occur when heat sources in storage or warehousing exceeds normal ranges. Seals may become brittle when stored in a cold storage and reduces the effectiveness of the seal. Keep temperatures in proper range for the seals.
Humidity: The relative humidity should never exceed 75%. It would be best to avoid having a moist or an excessively dry storage area, as the condensation or the excessive dry air may cause damage to seals.
Light: Protect rubber seals against sunlight or against artificial lighting with strong ultra violet content! Sunlight can damage seals. Storing the seals in polyethylene bags is acceptable, as long as the seals are not exposed to sunlight.
Protect from Warping or Reshaping: Rubber seals should always be stored in a relaxed state that is free from contortion and compression. Hanging larger sized seals on pegs may result in a change of their original shape and may hinder the performance of the seal. Always store lip seals in such a way that the sealing edges are not bent or crushed.
Oils and Solvents: Rubber seals should not be stored in contact with oils, water, solvents, or any semi-solid state material, as this would compromise the seals, unless so packaged by the manufacturer.
Ozone: Rubber seals need to be protected from ozone producing equipment, such as electric motors, mercury vapor lamps, high voltage electrical equipment, and any other electrical equipment that may generate ozone. Seals stored in the close proximity of this type of ozone producing equipment causes degrading of the polymer material, which in turn reduces the expected life of the seal. Storage solutions would be to store at a safe distance from the ozone source and to store seals in hermetic (air tight) containers to maintain ideal life range of the seal.
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If you are unsure of the effectiveness of a seal that has been in storage, you may first check for noticeably hard, brittle areas, cracked surfaces, contortion in the rubber or permanent distortion. If you are unsure the seal is safe for production or application use, contact a sealing specialist with your concerns.
MSP Seals, Inc
Founded in 1998, MSP Seals has been a major supplier of seals and various other materials. MSP Seals has introduced unique new products, o-rings, hydraulic/pneumatic packings, oil seals, rotary shaft seals, and other types of seals. MSP offers the seal industry's broadest range of products with an unparalleled range of service, support, and capabilities.
MSP Seals, Inc
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