Long-term seal integrity thanks to proTect+ Baumer sensors
Seal integrity is an important element in sensor design, especially when they operate in rough conditions. This is tested in most sensors according to IP standards. However, leading sensor and measurement device specialists, Baumer offer some of the most robust sensors on the market. In this article, we find out what lengths they go to achieve this.
As mentioned above, most sensors prove their seal integrity according to IP standards. To most machinery builders and plants, standards such as IP67, IP68, and IP69K are not unfamiliar. They are used to indicate what protection is in use and also whether or not the sensor is suitable for use in dusty and wet environments. What Baumer has done with its sensors is trial them against a more stringent test procedure.
The limitations of sensors with IP standard sealing
When devising their own testing procedure, Baumer was looking for an indication of the durable long life cycle of their sensors. Yes, while the industry-standard IP tests can specify a sensor’s suitability to work within numerous applications. However, they give no reassurances as to how long they will continue to perform throughout the life cycle of the application.
What they came up with is a test that can do both. It is important to remember that industry tests nearly always experiment with brand new products. The materials they work with rarely match though. Often they are ageing and have been through strong cyclical loads. Because of this, they do not represent the same shapes, sizes, or conditions and lose some of their integrity, especially in rough conditions.
Seal integrity throughout the entire life cycle
Judging the critical nature of some applications and having a thirst for knowledge when it comes to long-term seal integrity, Baumer came up with the proTect+ test procedure.
Baumer’s ProTect+ sensors are built out of robust materials and include an intelligent sealing concept. They also undergo a process where the developers accelerate the ageing process prior to the start of the testing stage.
This approach enables them to enhance long-term seal integrity during the development stages of their sensors. The design of these sensors is to retain the sensor’s tightness at a dependable level after many years of use. This is regardless of how tough the environment or operating conditions may be. Temperature testing is also part of the procedure, where engineers subject the sensors to varying temperatures to ensure good function. Once they have been through the proTect+ testing process, they are then sent through the IP standard sealing tests.
Careful material selection
To ensure they have the ability to create their proTect+ sensors effectively, it is important to choose the materials carefully. Suitable options include V2A/V4A stainless steel for the housing, together with nickel-plated quenched and tempered steel. For the seals, materials such as NBR rubber, liquid silicone rubber, polyamide are suitable.
Suitable for use in hygiene applications, the design of these sensors ensure fluids drain easily off chamfered edges. The smooth service prevents the accumulation of dirt and bacteria. Cable outlets or windows for layers or LED signalling displays are critical points. Baumer creates the seals to satisfy these requirements.
Seals ready for the toughest conditions
Once they have gone through the full testing process, the proTect+ sensors are ready for applications within the toughest conditions. Some example environments include in truck-mounted pumps, steam jet cleaners and SmartReflect sensors in the hygienic or washdown versions made of robust stainless steel housing with proTect+.
For more information about Baumer’s proTect+ sensors for rough working conditions or any of their other products visit www.baumer.com..
The Baumer Group is leading at international level in the development and production of sensors, shaft encoders, measuring instruments as well as components for automatic image processing.
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