The Strengths & Common Use of Silicone in Food Processing:
Food we find is one of those very important, yet often not talked about areas in the media – until there is some kind of scare or outbreak of something that is newsworthy. This fortunately does not happen too often and we like to do our part to help this industry as much as possible.
We eat all the time, the outcome of what comes out of “Food Processing” goes into our bodies and keeping Food Processing & Manufacturing environments safe, clean & compliant is critical at all times. From our own perspective at Jehbco as Silicone Specialists, “Food” was one of the first industries where we made it some 40+ years ago and to this day – it’s an important part of what we do.
With “Silicone Elastomer” it is an outstanding material for Seals in Food Processing. From a Chemistry & Material Engineering perspective, 100% Pure Silicone is known for its ability to withstand extreme temperatures, acidic / alkali environments and comes with a long service life. It’s commonly used on Seals & Gaskets on a range of applications including:
- Vacuum Tumblers: Like a cement barrel, it helps to extract protein & massage the meat product inside. It uses Gaskets in anything from the main lead, to seals internally.
- Tray Sealers & Thermo Formers: When it comes to food packaging, a Silicone Gasket is used to commonly seal the lid to the container (we call these gaskets “Packaging Anvils” internally).
- Chamber machines: Quite often found in smaller operations – these machines vacuum draw all the air out of a product and seals it in a pouch. Silicone tubes or cords are often used in this situation to seal the chamber lid.
- Emulsifiers Seals: These machines are often used to blend by mixing, cutting and adding stabilizing agents – Silicone Seals are often used in these instances.
- ‘Y’ Blenders: These are often used where food needs to be coated with a powder (such as spices or confectionary coatings) and Silicone finds its way onto the main seals here.
- Intensive Coolers: Many of these walk-in “Cold-Rooms” can be -50 degrees centigrade and Silicone is often used to seal these units (as it can withstand heavy extreme temperatures).
- Ovens: To the other extreme, “Ovens” get sealed as well with Silicone to keep the heat in and contaminants out.
There are many more applications in just this industry alone where Silicone is often used for its strength, chemical resistance and service life properties.
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