Posted on October 22, 2019
Capitalizing on 100 years of field experience and a combination of in-house material formulation, engineering design and quality control, has allowed Victaulic to optimize elastomer material properties to develop better products and product components, such as Victaulic Gaskets and Seals, which directly benefits the end-user. In this blog, you will learn how Victaulic has positioned itself to add the most value to its customers through the design, development, and manufacture of its elastomer gaskets and elastomer seals.
What is a Victaulic Gasket?
At the heart of each Victaulic mechanical pipe joint is a strategically designed Victaulic elastomer gasket. Each elastomer gasket is molded to fit the cavity of the pipe coupling housing, and when energized during tightening, is responsible for creating a positive seal on the pipe. Victaulic coupling housings are responsible for reinforcing and securing the gasket into the correct position for proper sealing and providing the structural integrity of the pipe joint.
Development of Victaulic Elastomers
Through the years, Victaulic recognized the complexity of elastomers and one way to continue to evolve the pipe joining industry would be to deepen its understanding of elastomer gaskets, the heart of the Victaulic pipe joint. While both the manufacturing of Victaulic gaskets and the raw materials selected, met industry standards, Victaulic foresaw that with more expertise focused in this area, process improvement, as well as innovation, would be possible.
Victaulic was founded on innovation in 1919, and the key to its continued growth and success has been a steadfast commitment to innovate. With the possibility to innovate in the area of elastomer gaskets and seals as a driving force, Victaulic built up teams of chemists and engineers focused on developing proprietary elastomer formulations specific to individual applications where Victaulic products were being utilized at the time, but with an eye toward where they could be utilized in the future. Since then, teams at Victaulic have developed, and continue to develop, many forms and versions of Victaulic elastomers.
Vertical Integration of Victaulic Elastomers and Gaskets
As our knowledge base increased, new opportunities were realized through innovation in formulations, process improvements, and global manufacturing. The vertical integration of Victaulic gaskets created a unique synergy between the design component and material development that allowed for the greatest value in the end product.
Through the internal development of proprietary material formulations and partnerships with the raw material suppliers for Victaulic elastomers, Victaulic took control of the elastomer properties and all purchased materials, domestically and globally.
Victaulic is selective of the raw materials and their manufacturers. Regular site audits and materials inspections ensure that the highest level of quality is used. Additionally, Victaulic sets up and implements control plans for the handling of materials and production.
Victaulic’s team of Ph.D. level chemists, chemical engineers, and polymer scientists work synergistically with design specialists to create proprietary elastomer formulations specifically tailored for use as grooved mechanical gaskets. Through this partnership, engineers use the latest in stress analysis software to ensure seals are optimized for long term performance. Developing the perfect joining solution is a continuous process and engineers are constantly working to raise the level of performance of the company’s elastomer products.
After the formulations are engineered, Victaulic ISO 9001 certified facilities mold, process, and test the elastomer gaskets to ensure optimum performance as part of a continuous global improvement process, which leverages a broad base of experience.
Vertical integration allows Victaulic to be proactive and agile towards customer’s needs and ever-changing industry demands while producing the highest quality product.
Victaulic Elastomers Exceed Industry Standards
With a focus on rigorous continuous improvement and the ability to control more of the process through vertical integration, Victaulic elastomers far surpass industry standards. In fact, Victaulic ensures that elastomers meet the needs of the end-user by testing the material as a component of a finished product, not as just a material.
The requirements and scrutiny that Victaulic elastomer products undergo are unparalleled. Below are a few of the tests developed by Victaulic engineers that are performed on Victaulic gaskets:
- Chemical Capability: This series of tests determine an elastomer’s capability to withstand exposure to various chemicals and temperatures. Only 100% compatibility receives a recommended rating. Volume swell, which looks at the elastomer’s resistance to the absorption of a fluid, is just one of the material characteristics Victaulic examines to determine the chemical capabilities of its elastomer product.
- Accelerated Aging: It is the combination of field experience and engineering expertise that allows Victaulic to develop testing that more accurately reflects real-life scenarios. For example, Victaulic’s engineers are able to simulate the aging of Victaulic Elastomer products through exposure to accelerated environments. In one such test, gaskets are exposed to heat aging to determine if the seal can maintain its elastic properties and recover from long term compressive stress.
- Normal and Abnormal Stresses: This series of tests ensures that Victaulic Elastomer products are going to work effectively during the most severe service conditions. Engineers examine how the gaskets resist deformation and maintain their shape and responsiveness.
What Does This Mean for Victaulic Customers?
Victaulic gaskets and seals are strategically designed to meet the real needs of customers. Through vigorous testing, Victaulic is able to predict the performance of its elastomer products in numerous configurations and in countless applications giving customers product assurance.
Additionally, vertical integration and internal expertise gives Victaulic the ability to react quickly to industry and customer needs. Because Victaulic owns the process, they are able to be proactive and act quickly when there are changes in the industry or customer needs.
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