Significance of Gaskets in the Food and Beverage Industry

30 September 2016

Seal incorruptibility plays an important role in the food and beverage industry. Primarily, the gaskets employed in this hygiene-sensitive arena are designed to adhere to stringent health and safety regulations, which means they stop leaks in factories where consumable items are processed. Cross-contamination is eliminated when these system-essential seals function optimally. Meanwhile, engineering reliability creates a formidable pairing when balanced against food-compliant sealing technology.

Gaskets Segregate Questionable Fluids

It might seem counterintuitive to think of a food manufacturing area as a potentially unsanitary place, but multiple fluid streams are being processed here, and not all of them are fit for consumption. A top-notch mechanical seal obviously stops consumable matter from leaking, but it also prevents waste-filled conduits from discharging nasty slime, the blood and fat left over from a meat cutting operation, for example. Powerful mechanical barriers, therefore, keep leftover waste far away from edible products.

Designed for Harsh Conditions

In governing this safe-working environment, sanitation protocols rate highly because this is a factory setting where the final product is bound for human consumption. Still, curiously, the challenges encountered here are every bit as seal-fatiguing as any chemical processing plant, for food and beverage installations are loaded with active ingredients. Acids are present in blood, meat, and fruit, so elastomer seals must be designed from materials that are known to resist these mildly corrosive fluids. Likewise, temperature extremes are often enforced in food-carrying and processing plants, so pipe and machine junctions must be fitted with space eliminating inserts that won’t fail when very high or very low temperatures rule the workspace.

The Challenges of the Food and Beverage Industry

Mechanical joints, the inserts that securely bind one mating surface to the next, are critically important in a chemical processing scenario, but this assertion is just as true when it’s applied to a food and drink processing facility, for edible and drinkable stuff can cause fabricated seals to wear quickly. Built tough, the material also needs to be chemically neutral, which is an important feature if flavour is to be preserved. Additionally, alcoholic liquids and carbonated fluids carry their own unique challenges, so the flattened profile of the seal requires pressure-handling aptitude, all so that the delicious liquids remain properly contained.

What’s being conveyed here is the notion that consumable organic stuff is every bit as difficult to contain as a non-organic pressurized chemical. The gaskets in the food and beverage industry, therefore, must be as adept as their industrial cousins, for they’re there to stop contamination, prevent bacterial growth, and reinforce a sanitary workflow.

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