NDS-Seals supplies total solutions in the field of seals in a wide variety of constructions. Usually NDS-Seals is therefore directly involved in the design of new constructions. In this way we can ensure that the right seal is made to measure for you. The design process of a seal is a meticulous process in which various factors have to be taken into account. NDS-Seals has the knowledge and experience to bring the design of your construction to a successful conclusion with the right seal. In this article you can read how this process works.
Advice from the beginning of your design process
We advise you to involve us in your design process at an early stage. If you pay immediate attention to the required seals during the design phase, NDS-Seals can advise you about the possibilities. This allows you to work cost-efficiently. However, it may be the case that your construction has already been designed, but afterwards it turns out that a seal still needs to be applied. It may also be the case that the seal used does not function properly, for example if a standard seal has been used. NDS-Seals can still support you in these cases on the basis of the construction data. The dimensions and corresponding tolerances form the starting point of the design process.
Step 1: The choice of material
The design process of a seal generally begins by identifying three factors that the seal faces:
Is it about sealing air, water or oil, for example? On the basis of these data, a basic material is chosen. In the construction of a coffee machine, for example, a seal must be resistant to hot water and suitable for foodstuffs. In that case, EPDM or silicone can be chosen. If a seal must be very wear-resistant, polyurethane or natural rubber can be chosen, for example.
Another aspect that is taken into account in the choice of materials is durability. In some cases it may be more advantageous to choose a more expensive material that has a longer lifespan. In that case, the investment is slightly higher, but you can save on maintenance because the seal does not need to be replaced as often.
The method of assembly is also taken into account. After all, correct assembly is essential for the seal to function optimally. If, for example, parts need to be assembled automatically, the seal can be treated so that no more friction can occur. Furthermore, the use of certain colours in the seal can provide recognition to facilitate the assembly process.
Step 2: Shape of the seal
In addition to choosing the right material, it is also important to choose the right shape of the seal. The simplest and most effective seal is the O-ring, a seal with which NDS-Seals has a great deal of experience. An O-ring that is pressed in well gives the best seal, but the strength and space required for this is not always there in the construction. Whether an O-ring can be used depends on the dimensions. If the tolerances in the construction, i.e. the freedom of movement of the seal, deviate considerably and are larger than usual, an O-ring may not always be able to move with it. An alternative in this case is a lip seal. A lip seal is much more flexible.
Step 3: Testing the seal
We advise to always do a trial with the first design. Computer simulation is a possibility, but because there are so many factors and diversity in materials involved, it rarely gives a complete picture. That is why a test is usually done by means of a prototype tool, where the design and corresponding seal are made in the right material. 3D printing is also an option, but the materials that can be 3D printed are not (yet) representative of the material that will eventually be used in the construction.
NDS-Seals usually makes its designs based on the extreme preconditions within which a seal must function. In practice, however, these extremes do not or hardly occur, so that the seal often functions properly immediately.
Step 4: Overhaul and series production
After the design process and the test, the next phase is to adjust and improve the design, if necessary. When this phase is completed, the serial production of the seals is started. A test is also carried out first with the series tooling. If the results are good, production can start.
Packaging and delivery
After a careful design process, it is nice if the seals arrive in good condition, as they are delicate parts. NDS-Seals therefore has various special packaging to protect the seals as well as possible during transport and storage. In this way the seals keep their shape, accurate to the millimetre.
Total package: design, production and service
Knowledge and experience with regard to applications of the material is essential in making the right choices in the design process of a construction with seals. That is why NDS-Seals offers a total package. This gives our customers certainty. Not only do we take care of the design and production of the seals, but we are also always there for you with the best service. In this way NDS-Seals ensures a smooth logistics process. Even if for example unforeseen problems occur, NDS-Seals will support you in this. Quality assurance is important to us. The seal must be durable. We take care of the quality of the products we make and deliver.