This article is featured in Food&Drink Business
Finding effective seals for the production of chocolate has historically been a challenge. The fine consistency of cocoa powder and the need for absolute seal integrity throughout the entire food-grade manufacturing process brings a puzzle that, until now, hasn’t had a definitive solution.
We are introducing the 30K PTFE Lip Seal: the technically advanced seal designed specifically for perfect production of the world’s favourite confectionary – chocolate.
The Challenges of Chocolate Production
Creating delicious chocolate is an intricate and complex process. At the heart of the challenge is the make-up of the main ingredient, cocoa. In the powder format necessary to make chocolate, it presents several issues. These include:
- The fineness of the powder is hazardous to health should it become airborne and breathed in by workers
- Serious damage can occur if cocoa powder is allowed to contaminate the bearings of equipment
- Heat is needed during the chocolate-making process. This causes expansion, both in the product and equipment, with an associated risk of leaks
- Production often requires changes in operating temperatures or ingredient ratios.
A failure to adequately address any of the above leads to major, or even catastrophic, manufacturing problems. Batch contamination causes financial loss, with litigation being a worst-case scenario should a customer react to a contaminated product. Furthermore, failure to contain the cocoa powder within the system is highly likely to lead to a health hazard, with associated legal implications.
The solution lies in one of the smallest parts of the processing equipment – that of the humble seal. When it comes to the production of chocolate, nothing stands up to the sealing challenge like the 30K PTFE Lip Seal.
A Unique Sealing Approach for Rotary Equipment
A rotary seal that addresses all the challenges above requires to have safety and productivity integrated into the design. This meant going back to the drawing board and embracing cutting-edge technology to address multiple issues successfully.
The aim was to produce a seal that had:
- High resistance against wear
- Excellent fluid compatibility
- High resistance against water
- High-speed handling capability
- Ability to operate in a broad range of temperatures (both high and low)
In addition, the need for low friction was paramount, as this would reduce the contact heat on the lips and positively impact the rate of wear.
The answer to all of these unique challenges was to utilise a distinct PTFE material that was mechanically formed and designed specifically for such sealing applications. The 30K PTFE Lip Seal is one-of-a-kind, boasting an O-ring on the outer diameter that brings outstanding static sealing in the seal cavity. It also works as an anti-rotational device, therefore preventing the seal from rotating with the shaft.
Furthermore, the seal can be manufactured to any application requirements, thanks to Chesterton’s unique machining process. This means seals of any size can be processed without the need for any additional tooling costs.
Chesterton’s 30K PTFE Lip Seals Addresses All the Challenges of Chocolate Production
When it comes to abrasive media, such as cocoa powder, only the ultimate seal can stand up to demand. Chesterton Customseal’s 30K PTFE Lip Seals have been designed with safety, productivity and the related cost-reductions in mind.
Such innovative sealing solutions are what Chesterton Customseal are renowned for.
Discover more about the 30K PTFE Lip Seals and other innovative food and beverage sealing solutions here.
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