Thordon Extending Seal Life for Mining Environments

Mario Cywinski
August 08, 2018
Written by
  Thordon Bearings, a Canadian manufacturer of water-lubricated non-polluting marine shaft bearings and seals, offers Thor-Flex seals in pneumatic cylinder applications. Recently, it saw the replacement of conventional rubber seals on 28 pneumatic cylinders, which had been sent for refurbishment to RMH Industries, Thordon’s authorized distributor in Quebec, Canada. 

The cylinders are used for unloading mining dump wagons, with each wagon being equipped with two pneumatic air cylinders on each side. In this application, the cylinders operate at a pressure of 861 kPa (125 psi), under highly abrasive conditions. Each cylinder relies on two seals for operation, one 711mm (28in) in diameter, and the other 635mm (25in) diameter.

The seals were previously made from a rubber material, the distributor suggested that the life of the seals could be significantly extended if Thor-Flex was specified for these mining wagons. Having used Thordon’s Thor-Flex seal in similar pneumatic cylinder applications.

“Replacing the previous rubber seals with Thor-Flex seals ensures that the cylinders will offer a considerably longer service life before the customer needs to refurbish them again, while at the same time offering better sealing than conventional materials,” said Nicolas Rioux, Quality Control Manager, RMH Industries.

Thor-Flex is an elastomeric polymer material with high mechanical strength, along with self-lubricating properties making it highly suitable for cylinder seals in challenging environments. They can safely operate in temperatures from -50°C to +90°C (-60°F to 195 °F), and at pressures up to 103,421 kPa (15,000 psi). They are able to work in abrasive, corrosive environments at high levels of humidity and can resist high impact loads.

“We have been designing and producing custom Thor-Flex solutions and products for over 30 years,” said Scott Groves, Thordon’s Regional Manager – Americas. “Years of custom formulation and elastomer design experience allows our technical experts to provide our customers with solutions that meet or exceed the technical requirements of the application. These include high performance elastomers for non-bearing applications, offering extremely high resistance to abrasion and vibration, high cut and tear resistance, increased shock absorption and reduced noise when replacing other materials. We can offer lightweight replacements for metals, which, in many applications, can be easily bonded to metal or other polymers, or can be custom formulated to suit specific applications.”

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