Gaskets for Agriculture
Choosing flexible gasket materials for use in agricultural machinery.
The choice of materials for the assembly and manufacture of agricultural equipment is governed by many factors, including resistance to weather, farm chemicals, temperature fluctuations. The type of materials chosen are because of strength, longevity, ease of manufacture, resistance to rough handling and price.
The Agriculture sector utilises gaskets and seals predominantly in oily, pressure sensitive applications, including high chemical and fuel based environments. RAM also supplies heavy duty reinforced rubbers for skirting industrial machinery. Spacers and seals for discharge chutes and crop processing equipment, including flexible chute liners and food safe materials.
There are many issues facing agricultural sealing. The environment, weather and seasons including heavy use and long-term storage. Resistance to farm chemicals such as fertilisers, weed killers, is critical with some chemicals more corrosive than others. The changes in chemicals over a time period can cause increase corrosion, for example decomposition of fertiliser, producing ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and chloride. Acidic conditions such as ammonium phosphate and ammonium hydrate lead to increased corrosion of metals and rubber parts. There are many changes and fluctuations of a product over time. The necessity to seal against many different environments is paramount for a good quality, well designed product.
Corrosion resistant materials are required, plastics, rubbers, metals with resistance to rough handling and material quality is required for good quality agricultural machinery. Sealing joints with the correct polymers (rubbers), designing good hinge clearance for greasing, utilising quality metals and seals all contribute to the life of agricultural equipment.
Sealing different types and concentrations of chemicals often need testing or expert advice, ratios of plant nutrients, liquid fertilisers, urea all provide an efficient way of decomposing seals. RAM knows these environments and is proud to support you, the engineer, with the right materials to seal for longevity.
Weather seals are important in the storage of chemicals, for example dry fertilisers do not corrode; they are however hygroscopic so as they intake water they become more corrosive to the environment in which they are stored.
Paint Corrosion and Exposed Metal
Machinery when painted exhibits the brand, corrosion of paintwork over time also needs to be limited. Paintwork corrosion also further exposes the metal reducing the longevity. All exit points need to be correctly sealed. Using the correct gasket materials in the first instance leads to a better quality design and product, reducing any need for recalls or replacement parts. RAM helps you to make the right choice every time.
High chemical resistance is required for sprayers, gasket materials that seal when exposed to fluctuating temperatures. Good weather seals are required that are also resistant to the internal chemicals stored in tanks.
Common issues faced by sprayer manufacturers are –
• Fluctuations in temperature affecting plastic based product shells.
• Sealing against chemicals.
• Longevity of seals when exposed to chemical and temperature fluctuations.
Common materials used within agriculture and why.
EPDM Rubber for seals, washers, flexible chutes, skirting, weather seals etc.
Sealing liquids and slurry?
- If you require longevity, minimise cracking and the ability to cope with temperature fluctuations then choose EPDM.
- EPDM is an excellent weather seal. As a solid rubber, it can be supplied in different grades. Grades reflect different percentages of polymer content, hardness and thicknesses allowing for better compression and displacement.
- EPDM has good resistance to hardening and cracking, maintaining an elastic rubber for many years even in extreme environments.
- EPDM is also good for sealing in Glycol based hydraulic fluid environments.
- As a closed cell foam it seals well in a low compression environment.
- The foamed material is easily supplied with Adhesive backing, RAM uses an adhesive backing that gives excellent adhesion in fluctuating temperatures, allowing the material to compress and decompress as the product shell does and keeping material in place during application.
See the RAM Gaskets Chemical Chart to see specific chemical resistance of EPDM.
PTFE – High strength chemicals, low-friction sealing for bearings and strong chemicals.
If you require incredibly low friction, ability to seal the strongest of chemicals then look no further than PTFE.
- PTFE as a solid plastic is used as a low-friction self-lubricating bearing material.
- Great for bearings.
- Used as washers, packings, as a lining for containers and pipe work when strong chemicals are present.
- PTFE is the very best material to use for chemical resistance.
- It is very versatile, it can be moulded. press-formed, sprayed, press-cut and more.
- PTFE can be foamed to create a pressure sensitive sealing material. A compressible foam allowing for compression before sealing.
See the RAM Gaskets Chemical Chart to see the chemical resistance of PTFE.
Reinforced Rubber for skirting, flooring and more..
If you require strong durable thick rubbers, that will retain their shape, limit compression, withstand movement and impact then look no further than our reinforced rubber range.
We stock over 1200 rubber variations. Thicknesses, strengths, polymers etc. Some rubbers can be provided with a reinforcement, a supportive substrate, fabric/nylon/metal is inserted into the rubber when curing. It allows for a stronger heavy duty product across several applications.
Reinforced rubber is often used for skirting for agricultural machinery, Industrial strength lining material for pig troughs and silos, floor mats and extrusions for horses and cattle. More about our reinforced rubber here.
Nitrile rubber – for oily environments up to 120⁰, hydraulic fluid, engine oil etc.
- Nitrile has a great resistance to petroleum oils and petrol.
- Nitrile has excellent resistance to mineral and vegetable oils.
- Sealing in oily environments, hydraulic fluid (not glycol based), engine oil etc.
- A good resistance to heat ageing means it is an exceptional rubber to use in the right oily environment over time.
- Nitrile can be supplied in different grades. Grades reflect different percentages of polymer content, hardness and thicknesses allowing for better compression and displacement.
- Nitrile can also be foamed and supplied as a foam sheet/coil.
- Adhesive backings and textured surfaces including internal reinforcement such as nylon can also be applied. Chemical compatibility for Nitrile.
Viton® rubber – a good overall performing polymer for agricultural use with a price tag…
Viton has excellent resistance to aggressive chemicals and fertilisers, petroleum oils, mineral, vegetable oils. Inorganic and organic chemicals.
Price limits it’s use to critical applications. Many other rubbers and materials are perfectly suited to an environment. Viton should be considered where other materials have failed and a combination of factors cause a seal to fail. Viton is often an excellent polymer to cover many factors including long-term weather and heat factors. This overall performance and chemical resistance make it a material worth investing in. Chemical compatibility chart for Viton.
These are just some of the huge stocks of rubber and other materials RAM supplies, so many more options, materials and material types available depending on your application and individual problems you may face. We make your product, to your design and requirement, tell us about your problem, ask us a question and we can give you the information and supply the parts you require.