This is How Rotary Shaft Seals Keep Dust In and Explosions Out
Dust explosions are rare, but when they happen, they can easily be fatal. The danger is compounded by several factors: it can be hard to detect a dangerous level of dust, factory and grain-storage facility operators often become complacent, and the explosions are typically sudden. These things make it imperative to eliminate the risk of a dust explosion as much as possible.
How Can Dust Explode?
Dust is made of particles so fine that if they are exposed to any source of ignition, they instantly combust. When there are enough of them in the air, the combustion spreads from one particle to its neighbors almost as instantaneously. The spread is so fast that all of the dust effectively lights up at once – creating an explosion.
What makes this risk so unpredictable is that unexpected things can ignite the dust. Along with obvious hazards like an open flame, there are hidden dangers such as overheated equipment, mechanical sparks, electrical problems and even building parts that have been heated by direct sunlight.
How to Control the Risk of a Dust Explosion
Seal Away the Dust
It seems simple, but it actually takes a diligent effort to stop the explosion hazard at its source. Dust that is fine enough to explode is also made of particles that are so tiny they can fit through the smallest gaps. This means that factory components must be made with tolerances tight enough to prevent these hidden openings.
One of the most challenging places to get proper sealing is around rotary shafts. Seals must allow the shafts to move, yet be so tight that tiny particles can’t get past. If the seal has even the smallest of leaks, dust will get into the room as well as on the shaft. This not only presents an explosion hazard but causes premature wear on the shaft and other moving parts.
The solution to this part of the problem is to use rotary shaft seals by CinchSeal. These outperform the “packing” variety of seal because they use a solid elastomer center that is slightly smaller than the intended shaft. When they are forced onto the shaft, the compression makes a perfect seal. Other important aspects of these seals include a set of rotators that are compressed against the seal’s stationary parts.
Specific seal types are used with various types of equipment. These include split rotary shaft seals and high-pressure rotary shaft seals. CinchSeal’s experts can work with companies to determine which solution is best if it is not already known.
Use Custom Options if Needed
If there aren’t any mass-produced seals for your application, don’t settle for a “second-best” option. Instead, talk to a CinchSeal engineer about custom rotary shaft seals. These are made to the exact specifications needed to keep your operation safe, eliminate unnecessary equipment wear, and prevent product contamination.
CinchSeal works constantly to ensure that it always provides the most innovate, cost-effective, and most importantly, effective solutions for your sealing needs. You can be confident that the company’s seals will provide top-notch protection in your operation regardless of whether you choose an off-the-shelf model or have your seals custom made.
- Dust explosions can happen without warning
- Good sealing is an essential part of a danger mitigation plan
- Rotary seals, such as those made by CinchSeal, are excellent at stopping dust leakage
- Dust is explosive due to its small size and the speed of the combustion reaction
To learn more about CinchSeal’s solutions for equipment handling dusty materials, just contact us. We produce several types of pre-designed solutions at our rotary shaft seals factory, and we can also make custom rotary shaft seals to meet your specifications.