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The PTFE & UHMW Challenge

The medical and pharmaceutical industries face tough challenges when it comes to sealing solutions.  In this article, we are going to talk about how spring-energized PTFE and UHMW seals can help with three of those challenges.



Other helpful articles and information on PTFE & UHMW Seals for the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industry:


Challenge #1:  High performance fluid sealing requirements

High pressures, temperature fluctuations, exposure to aggressive media, high peripheral speeds – all of these are areas where PTFE and UHMW spring-energized seals excel.  Spring-energized seals are known for their sealing integrity.  Because they are spring-energized, as the pressures increase, so does the sealing power. 

By using PTFE and UHMW, the seals can be used with wide range of aggressive media without losing their integrity.  The also resist the absorption of chemicals they come in contact with. 


Challenge #2:  Purity

One of the major issues in both the medical and pharmaceutical industries is purity.  PTFE and UHMW spring-energized seals can meet the regulatory challenges faced by engineers designing for these industries.

Contamination can come in a variety of forms.  Both PTFE and UHMW PE have extremely low coefficients of friction allowing them to be used without lubricants, thus eliminating potential contamination from lubricants. 

These polymers are also known for their lack of chemical reactivity with a wide variety of aggressive chemicals.  This non-reactivity means that no chemical by-products are produced when they come in contact with the media being processed, as well as sanitizing agents.  This makes them easier and faster to clean, especially when combined with the fact that they are resistant to the buildup of biofilm.

Unlike metal seals, PTFE and UHMW do not corrode.  That means they avoid the contamination issues that can arise from corrosion of metal. 


Challenge #3:  Minimizing cost

Spring-energized seals with PTFE or UHMW can offer economical alternatives to their metal counterparts.  Unlike steel, PTFE and UHMW don’t require expensive finishes or plating to make sure they resist corrosion.  They are lighter weight, which means can reduce the power requirements of the systems that use them.  Because they don’t require lubrication and have excellent durability, there is less down-time required for maintenance – resulting in increased throughput.  They are also easier to clean and aren’t subject to biofilm buildup, reducing the time required to perform required cleaning and sanitation procedures.



Meeting High Performance Requirements

When it comes to the medical and pharmaceutical industry, PTFE spring-energized seals and UHMW spring-energized seals both handle the challenges of high performance fluid sealing requirements, purity, and minimizing cost.  They are a viable alternative even in rigorous conditions that involve high pressures, temperature fluctuations, and stringent cleaning standards.

Need more information on advanced polymer sealing solutions?  Download the FREE resource guide from Advanced EMC Technologies!




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