Conventional fasteners, such as nuts, bolts, rivets, and screws, are relatively efficient at mounting a broad range of items to surfaces, or surfaces to each other. However, in some industrial applications, regular fastening is not enough to prevent the unintentional and unwanted flow of potentially damaging liquids and gases.
Fasteners integrated with embedded O-rings compress when torqued. This compression causes the elastomeric (typically silicone rubber) O-ring material to distort and form an effective seal between the mating surfaces.
Why Use Sealing Hardware
In fasteners subjected to internal or external pressures and excessive vibrations, the thread and bearing faces can act as ideal pathways for the seepage of fluids. Selecting the right sealing hardware is, therefore, essential to ensure that electronic, hydraulic and pneumatic systems operate at maximum efficiency.
Improper sealing can result in unwanted leaks and loss of pressure in some applications. This can lead to equipment damage, inefficient processes, and cross-contamination which can ultimately lead to reduced productivity, operational downtime, and expensive maintenance or repair operations.
Chemical processing industries, in particular, rely on sealing hardware to prevent the leakage of potentially hazardous gases and liquids. Other sectors, such as the petrochemical industry, require reliable sealing fasteners to contain flammable substances and mitigate the risk of ignition or explosion.
Sealing hardware technology is used in a variety of machinery applications, particularly in harsh or hazardous environments. Sealing hardware ensures that a proper 360° seal is achieved around the base of the fastener through the compressive action of the O-ring. This attribute makes sealing hardware ideal for various hydraulic and pneumatic systems, including:
- Internal gear pumps
- Aircraft refuel systems
- Automotive transmissions
- Food and beverage processing machinery
- Marine tools and equipment
- Chemical processing systems
- Oil and gas/petroleum equipment
- Medical equipment
- Communication systems
- Utility systems
Benefits of Using Sealing Hardware
A major advantage of sealing hardware compared to traditional sealants (such as deformable washers and liquid thread sealers) is its reusability. This means that sealing hardware products can be easily removed and reapplied with the same sealing pressure when torqued.
In APM Hexseal’s sealing hardware, the silicone rubber is positioned within an asymmetrical groove which requires minimum compression and deformation when the desired torque is applied. This results in a reliable 360° metal-to-metal fastener contact and minimum friction even over multiple reinstallations.
The silicone rubber sealing material is also resistant to myriad aggressive chemical compounds, making APM Hexseal’s fastener solutions capable of operating in harsh environments without the risk of seal degradation. For additional vibrational resistance, self-sealing fasteners may be integrated with locking features, including self-locking pellets, strips, and patches.
APM Hexseal Sealing Hardware Solutions
APM Hexseal offers numerous types of sealing hardware for almost any metal-to-metal fastening and sealing needs. Their range of sealing hardware can achieve pressure seal ratings of up to 20,000 psi. These products include:
- Seelskrews® and Seelbolts®
Their self-sealing bolts and screws provide reliable seals against various liquid and gaseous substances. Seelskrews® and Seelbolts® products are also vibration-resistant and reusable.
APM Hexseal’s self-sealing hexagonal nuts are designed to be compatible with conventional screws, bolts, and studs. The single piece design is molded directly into a special cavity and helps provide superior sealing without compromising the nut’s original thread count.
- Seeloc® washers
Their self-sealing, reusable washers are constructed from a stainless steel disc bonded on one side with a specially designed silicone rubber. Seeloc® washers are capable of controlling pressures of up to 100psi. APM Hexseal is also introducing their newly developed Heavy Duty Seeloc® Washers, capable of handling torque values at least 50% higher than our original Seeloc Washers.
APM Hexseal’s range of sealing hardware is designed to meet the needs of any metal fastening application, and their engineers can also customize products for more unique sealing requirements.
We are honored to serve as a manufacturer’s rep for APM Hexseal. APM Hexseal has an extensive line of standard silicone sealing boots that mate with the vast majority of switches, breakers, encoders, potentiometers and many other rotating devices found today throughout the world.