An inflatable seal is a type of rubber seal which inflates (rather than compressed) to create an air or watertight barrier. When compared to elastomeric compression seals, inflatable rubber seals are more forgiving of irregular or misaligned surfaces, which boosts sealing integrity. Inflatable seals are designed to seal a gap after being inflated. The gasket is flat shaped, with a rubber flange to facilitate installation. During inflation, the flat gasket expands to a larger thickness and the sides will deform into a circular shape. The gasket is provided with ridges on the upper and lower contact area to improve sealing capacity. The gasket can be inflated by air or water.
They are also easier to use because they require less force to ensure a good seal – just move the mating parts into place and inflate the seal to close the gap. This makes them the perfect solution for unique and/or difficult sealing applications.
Our inflatable seals are well suited for use with:
• Horizontal or vertical sliding doors.
• Processing equipment where rapid sealing and unsealing is required.
• Hinged doors with flush thresholds for easy personnel or equipment access
• Large fabricated doors or other closures where it is impractical to machine the sealing surfaces to accommodate conventional compression seals and gaskets.
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Use Cases for Inflatable Seals
• Our inflatable seals are being used today in environments where cleanliness and containment are paramount. Particularly interesting applications include:
• Fabric reinforced inflatable EPDM rubber airlock seals to seal out radiation in nuclear power plants
• Low smoke silicone inflatable seals for sliding passenger doors on commuter trains
• USP Class VI (i.e. medical grade) inflatable seals for large pharmaceutical washing equipment
• Inflatable hopper seals used on powder handling equipment
• Large inflatable door seals (greater than 100 LF in circumference!) for aircraft hangers