Sealing is a very important undertaking in the manufacturing sector. Most fluids, food products, and other chemicals must be sealed to prevent leaks and other unwanted mechanical problems. In such circumstances, the sealant component must be of a high standard and able to withstand extreme pressure and temperatures. Different sealant materials and components have previously been used, but they have not delivered expected results.
However, bellows, which are spring-like pistons, have been used as sealing materials for many years in the manufacturing sector. Standard bellows have two or three tubes, but it is common to come across metal bellows with five tubes depending on their applications. If you need a sealant application, here are some of the reasons why you should consider a metal bellow.
1. Ability to Respond to Fatigue
Most metals show signs of immediate wear and tear when they are exposed to continuous work cycles. The pressure that occurs in the sealant material has proved to be an uphill task to most of the sealant materials. However, using a bellow for sealant system eliminates all the problems that manifest on a sealant material. The spring-like design of the bellow means that it is not rigid thereby releasing the pressure that causes metal fatigue.
2. Chemical Resistance
Sealing chemical products or sealing various parts in a chemical manufacturing company has always been a difficult undertaking. Most of the sealant materials used are easily corroded by the sealed chemical, which means that there is recurrent replacement of the sealant system. Custom bellows are usually made using inert alloys, thereby eliminating any chance of chemical corrosion. This explains why you can easily come across a bellow forming machine that is custom-made to use different alloys in bellow manufacturing process.
3. High-Temperature Endurance
In most cases, most of the manufacturing plants are associated with very high temperatures making it very hard for any sealant material to remain useful. Some sealants used cannot hold in specific circumstances due to unmanageable temperature levels. However, a bellow is made to withstand very high temperatures, which are common in manufacturing processes. A good example of temperature endurance in bellows can be seen in exhaust bellows for engine exhaust industry where exhaust bellows withstand very high temperatures around the exhaust.
4. Withstands High Pressure
Any sealant system is exposed to very high pressures originating from within the system. The ability of sealant material to withstand high pressures mostly depends on its material make-up. Bellows are made of alloys and therefore, very high elastic point. Most of the certified bellows have consistently proven that they cannot be outdone by pressure from the pipe or sealed system. Documented research studies show that a bellow can withstand pressures of more than 6,000 rpm without suffering premature wear.
5. Flexibility and Seal Balance
Flexibility and seal balance makes bellow one of the most preferred sealant systems in the manufacturing sector. The ability to expand and shrink when exposed to extreme temperature and pressure maintains a balanced sealing system that is needed in most manufacturing systems. By expanding and stretching due to increased temperature and pressure, the bellow keeps the whole opening covered, which prevents any chances of leaks.
6. Self-Cleaning Ability
Every component in the manufacturing system needs to be cleaned regularly to enhance its effectiveness and increase durability. Metal bellows have a self-cleaning mechanism, which prevents downtime in any manufacturing plant. The exterior shape of the bellow generates a radial repelling effect through continuous turning, which prevents any paste-like fluid from accumulating or solidifying in the mechanical seal chamber.
7. System Durability
As highlighted earlier, temperature, pressure, and chemicals are some of the major reasons why sealant materials have a shorter lifespan. However, it has been consistently proved that bellows can withstand extreme pressure and temperature while at the same time being inert to chemical reactions. Stainless steel bellows are also resistant to rust, which increases their lifespan.
If you are looking for a sealant system that will offer high-level sealing, you need to consider standard bellows. Their flexibility, durability, balanced sealing, and self-cleaning ability makes them the standout sealing systems that you can come across in the manufacturing sector.