Silicone Detectaseal for detecting rubber contamination during Food Processing

by Aidan Towers | Jan 09, 2012
Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE), a unit of IDEX Corp, has added a new silicone grade to its

Detectaseal range of metal detectable rubber for moulded o-rings and custom seal designs used in food processing equipment. Fragments of Detectaseal XS7H silicone rubber elastomer can be detected as small as 2mm with production in-line metal detectors.

Detectaseal XS7H is a 'clean' material, setting a new industry standard for silicone seals in food
processing. It contains no fillers, waxes process oils and other compounding ingredients that are
commonly used in other elastomers. In addition, by platinum curing the elastomer there are no
curing additive residues left on the moulded seal which could react with food processing liquids.

FDA and USP Class VI compliant, the XS7H silicone elastomer is suitable for operating
temperatures between -60oC and +200oC making it ideal for steam cleaning, heating and cooling
processes, and hygienic sealing for food processing applications in general.

Rubber contamination affects many foods

Rubber contamination product recalls reported by the Food Standards Agency in recent years have included products as diverse as ice cream, peanuts, crisps, chocolate confectionery, cakes and cheese. Over time repeated clean-in-place, sterilisation, and handling during equipment cleaning, can degrade rubber elastomer seals used in food processing equipment and pipework. As the seal degrades there is a risk of rubber fragments breaking off, leading to product contamination. In addition, hygienic processing conditions are compromised as the degraded seal's surface itself can provide a potential site for the growth of micro-organisms.

Detectaseal uses in-line detection equipment

Rather than wait for customer complaints, possibly resulting in an expensive product recall,
Detectaseal reduces the risk exposure and provides food processors with a reliable approach to detecting seal fragments as small as 2mm, using existing in-line means of metal detection.
In addition to XS7H silicon grade, the full Detectaseal range includes metal detectable
fluoroelastomer, nitrile and EPDM. All PPE elastomer seals used in food processing are produced in cleanroom conditions and offer full traceability.

Growing range of food processing seals

PPE is committed to supplying seals to the highest standard for food processing. It offers a growing range of FDA, USP Class VI and 3-A (dairy) approved elastomers, enabling equipment
manufacturers and users to select the most appropriate elastomer to meet temperature, chemical and physical performance criteria.

In addition, PPE is the leading contributor on elastomeric materials to the latest EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group) guide on 'Materials of Construction for Equipment in contact with Food’.

For further details of PPE's Detectaseal materials, and other FDA, USP and 3-A compliant
elastomers call +44 (0)1254 295400, e-mail sales@prepol.com and web site www.prepol. com .


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