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Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog

Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about the design and manufacturing of rubber and plastic parts and products. In addition to regular content from Elasto Proxy, you'll hear from companies across the rubber and plastics industry.

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How to Select Seals for Refrigerators and Freezers

Posted June 24, 2013 10:18 AM by Doug Sharpe

Do you like warm beer? Drinkers in the U.K. and Germany may prefer their beer at cellar temperature, but Europeans don't want a beer that's warm like Kaffee or afternoon tea. Here in Canada, Molson sells a brand called Cold Shots. In the U.S., Coors prides itself on two-stage cold activation. Cold beer is what North American drinkers want, even during hockey games.

Hockey, Blood, and Beer

Keeping beer cold is important. Keeping blood cold is a necessity. Like the beer coolers found in liquor stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, and at NHL hockey rinks, blood bank refrigerators must keep liquids at the proper storage temperature. The refrigerators and freezers used in hospitals, laboratories, restaurants, and industrial kitchens also provide essential cooling.

Keeping Contents Cold

Faulty or leaky door seals make it harder for refrigerators and freezers to keep contents cold. Motors work overtime, running continuously and increasing energy usage and wear. Increased costs (and warm beer) aren't the only problems with choosing the wrong refrigerator and freezer door seals, however. Using the wrong hinge and latch system can cause doors to buckle, air to escape, and items to spoil.

Seal Design and Dimensions

Selecting the right door seals for refrigerators and freezers is an important task then. That's why buyers and designers consider inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD), cross-section, and gap. The first three dimensional specifications are well-understood by engineers, but it's worth noting that the gap refers to when a refrigerator door or freezer door is closed - not open.

Seal Materials and Thermal Insulation

In addition to dimensional specifications and hinge type, seal designers and technical buyers need to choose the right material compound. For industrial refrigerators and freezers, EPDM and neoprene are common choices. Used in cold room doors, EPDM rubber provides good thermal insulation. Neoprene rubber also offers excellent insulation against cold and prevents unwanted heat transfers.

Hospitals and Kitchens

In hospitals and kitchens, refrigerators and freezers must do more than keep items cold. Often, silicone door seals are used because they're inert, odorless, hygienic, long-lasting, and relatively easy-to-clean. Anti-bacterial thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are also a good choice for refrigerator and freezer door seals. Flexible and pliable (but more expensive), TPE is also less likely to break at colder temperatures.

Cheers!

Whether you like your beer ice cold or at cellar temperature, I hope you've learned something by reading this CR4 blog entry. Do you have questions about seal design or customer fabrication? How about service temperatures and material selection? Please let me know by commenting below.

About the Author

Clyde Sharpe is the President of International Sales at Elasto Proxy (Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada), which provides high-quality, low-volume, custom-fabricated sealing solutions to a variety of industries.

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#1

Re: How to Select Seals for Refrigerators and Freezers

06/24/2013 12:43 PM

Was this written 30 years ago?

Cold beer? Coors? It's like the microbrewery revolution never happened.

I think I had a Coors once. Or maybe it was soda water.

No, on second thought, soda water has more flavor. That had none, so it must have been Coors.

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Whiskey, women -- and astrophysics. Because sometimes a problem can't be solved with just whiskey and women.
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#2
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Re: How to Select Seals for Refrigerators and Freezers

06/24/2013 5:06 PM

hey, 'Smoky and the Bandit' went through allot to get this Coors to you.......

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Re: How to Select Seals for Refrigerators and Freezers

06/24/2013 6:25 PM

Yeah, folks in Hotlanta were thirsty for Coors back then. * Nowadays, not so much.

http://www.urbanspoon.com/guides/1013-best-craft-beer-spots-in-atlanta

*My favorite pro football team was The Tampa Bay Bandits of the short-lived USFL (the league that was killed by that moron Donald Trump). The Bandits got their name from part-owner Burt Reynolds.

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Re: How to Select Seals for Refrigerators and Freezers

06/24/2013 9:23 PM

Lists of things to do:

- Learn something new...... Check✅

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Re: How to Select Seals for Refrigerators and Freezers

06/26/2013 9:12 AM

If you like microbreweries, come on up to Quebec. There are some great new ones here. Don't wait 30 years to visit Canada!

In the past, Elasto Proxy has designed some seals for brewing equipment. Maybe we'll make some seals for in-home kegerators next? We enjoy reading about such DIY projects on CR4 and would have fun supplying rubber parts for one.

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