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Everything You Need to Know About Temperature and Rubber Seals

While rubber is often regarded as having strong, durable qualities, there are many outside factors that can have a heavy impact on its performance. Temperature largely affects certain rubber compounds, whether it be extreme heat or cold.

Not all rubber is the same. In fact, certain rubber materials have better resistance to temperature than others. In order to ensure your rubber seal will function at its fullest potential, it is important to be aware of the conditions your rubber material can handle. Here’s what you need to know about how temperature affects rubber seals:

Low temperatures can cause trouble in elastomeric materials.

When sealing materials reach low-temperature limits, they will harden and resist deformation pressure,  causing leak paths. Once a leak path is formed, it will remain in the seal indefinitely, even when heated back up to normal temperatures. It’s important to note a seals temperature limit before application to avoid the loss of flexibility and cracking.

Choosing the right material is crucial.

The right material can make a huge difference when designing a seal for a high-temperature application. When choosing a rubber compound, Perfluoroelastomer, Fluorocarbon, Silicone and AFLAS all have excellent resistance to heat.

Test your seals in the temperature range it will be performing in.

Rubber seals are often applied in a variety of intense environments, ranging from the coldest climates to extreme heat. Since each rubber material has different properties and weaknesses, material selection is a crucial step in the engineering process.

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