Sustainable Product Design in Seals
Volume 4, Number 4, October 2008 - Paper 3 - pp. 333 - 344
PETER R LEWIS1 and S V HAINSWORTH21Department of Design, Development, Environment and Materials,
Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology,
The Open University,
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
2Dept of Engineering,
University of Leicester, University Road,
Leicester, LE1 7RH, United Kingdom
(Received on December 10, 2007)
Good product design implies reliability and longevity of that product or component when in service. The environment in which the product functions can vary but should be taken into account during design. A case study is presented which shows how failure of NBR seals in a semi-conductor process plant was caused by small traces of ozone within a pneumatic control system, and resulted in substantial losses of product through equipment downtime. The seals could have been protected against ozone attack, but the risk was ignored during design of the system. Many common elastomers are susceptible to ozone cracking, and protection against attack is readily available. Sustainable design requires that critical components should resist all conceivable environmental risks, such as ozone traces in the atmosphere. There were several ways in which the production line could have been protected at very low extra cost.
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