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New Sealing System for Hot-Oil Applications

To eliminate vegetable oil and steam leaks in the production of snack foods, Neocooper Industrial Solutions has developed together with the seal manufacturer CinchSeal a brand new mechanical sealing system for drive shafts of frying processors, making the production of fried foods more hygienic, safer and more ecological as well as economical. As a result of a three-year test and improvement period, the new CinchSeal NECAS seal is the solution for all “Hot Oil” applications in the food and process industry.

The core of the seal is a split elastomer made from AFLAS®, which is a new synthetic rubber that has all the benefits of Viton® but is also resistant to hot organic steams and vapours. The split AFLAS® elastomer is placed around the drive shaft and is glued together at the dovetail joint. It is secured with a hose clamp and protects the shaft against wear, prevents leakage along the shaft and rotates together with the drive shaft. The elastomer transfers the rotational movement onto two PTFE sealing discs, the Rotor Cups, which also rotate with the shaft. The PTFE Rotor Cups on the product and atmospheric seal off against a stainless steel housing, which creates an internal compression. The PTFE Rotor Cups and the housing are also split, so that no disassembly of the bearing and motor is required during installation.

This project has been started at an international snack foods manufacturer with an iconic crisps brand, who was trying to replace the gasket sealsm, because the constant leakage burned the frying oil in the cord gaskets, causing smoke, odor and harmful substances such as trans fats and carbons. In addition, the cord gaskets caused wear on the drive shafts, so that they had to be metal sprayed on after ten years at the latest, which had been a large and expensive job for 13 shafts with a length of 2.5 meters and a diameter of 200 millimeters per processor line. The constant leakage also led to intensive cleaning and frequent bearing damage.

This project has been started at an international snack foods manufacturer with an iconic crisps brand, who was trying to replace the gasket seals, because the constant leakage burned the frying oil in the cord gaskets, causing smoke, odor and harmful substances such as trans fats and carbons. In addition, the cord gaskets caused wear on the drive shafts, so that they had to be metal sprayed on after ten years at the latest, which had been a large and expensive job for 13 shafts with a length of 2.5 meters and a diameter of 200 millimeters per processor line. The constant leakage also led to intensive cleaning and frequent bearing damage.

After an initial test phase of eight weeks with mechanical seals from different manufacturers, CinchSeal’s sealing system was the only participant that showed no leakage and the customer decided to cooperate with Neocooper Industrial Solutions to develop a seal model that would meet the specific requirements and a service life of at least 24 months. The seals could not be provided with a compressed air connection, usually necessary to support the compression in the seal housing, so a model with hose clamp was designed. The connection of the split PTFE Rotor Cups had to be reinforced in order to achieve the required service life with an operational process time of 4 times 6 months continuously, with one week for maintenance and cleaning in between. In addition, the standard silicone elastomer was found not to be sufficiently resistant to the hot organic steam and had to be replaced after 18 months. Therefore, after an intensive study of different rubber materials, a test with the new AFLAS elastomer was conducted and this was the breakthrough to meet all the necessary requirements.

The customer has taken the decision to equip all six processor lines with the new CinchSeal NECAS seal and the first processor line will be converted in the spring of 2021. For more information about CinchSeal seals, please visit our website www.neocooper.com or contact Christian Wermeter of Neocooper Industrial Solutions.

Black AFLAS elastomer and white Rotor Cups on drive shaft