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Author Archives: APM Hexseal

  1. APM Hexseal Year In Review 2022

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    What a year!  Looking back, 2022 was a challenging but successful year for APM Hexseal.  We are in the midst of a lot of changes and upgrades and our business is on the march.  The last couple of years have indeed been difficult to navigate. Operating during a worldwide pandemic, then emerging and being faced with major disruptions and price increases in the global supply chain.  In spite of it all, APM Hexseal worked harder, produced more, learned more, changed more and grew more than we have since our founding, 70+ years ago.  Our business is stronger and healthier than it has ever been, and we are so proud of our efforts and successes – all of it focused on delivering better products to our customers. 

    The year was spent finding new and better ways to manage our supply chain.  We added a Director of Supply Chain to the team, who immediately began to find alternative sources and better ways to structure our raw material purchases. We have increased our focus on quality in the supply chain and brought onboard new vendors who meet our strict standards.

    We are committed to continuous improvement in manufacturing. We have upgraded our processes, our tooling and our machine shop to better serve the needs of our customers and partners. We have changed the layout of our facility to be more efficient and represent a lean, continuous workflow. We restructured our warehouse and made significant changes to how we stock product.  We have added head count in key areas throughout the organization, from the front of the building to the back.  We have increased our capacity on the manufacturing floor and augmented our automated processes to focus on efficiency and quality.

    We have raised our internal quality standards and have engaged our entire staff in the pursuit of excellence. We have done several rounds of in-house employee quality training sessions, which will continue.  In addition, we completed, and passed, our full ISO Audit, ISO 9001:2015 – our certificate can be found here.  Everyone in the building is focused on making APM Hexseal’s products the best and most reliable in the world.  Ever Better is our mantra and we live by it, every day.  

    We have increased our investment in Engineering and documentation control.  We added personnel, along with upgrading our drafting and document storage capabilities. We have invested in Solidworks, as well as some other software systems that will allow us to more easily research and develop new products. 

    Our sales team has continued to expand, both internally and throughout the world. We have a full internal sales staff, along with a global network of best-in-class Sales Representatives who assist and support customers on a daily basis.  In addition, our extensive global distribution network stocks and ships products, all over the world, seamlessly. We have also enhanced our software systems to better serve our customers. Excellence in execution is our top priority. Our goal is to provide outstanding products, at a fair price, when our customers need them, with exemplary service. 

    We closed 2022 with strong growth and an ambitious list of goals for the next several years.  Looking ahead to 2023, we plan to continue our aggressive pursuit of growth through excellence.  With an eye toward our future and long-term business objectives, APM Hexseal will embrace a trajectory of ever improving quality, ever improving processes, ever improving service and ever improving execution. Thanks to all of our customers, suppliers, partners and supporters, 2023 and beyond look very bright and we are excited to show you what we can do. We thank you for your support and your business and we wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2023!      Ever Better!

  2. Stainless Steel Advantages

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    Stainless Steel Advantages

    Stainless steel is a metal used in various applications due to its durability, heat and corrosion resistance, and variety of grades and types. We will explore what stainless steel is and the different types of stainless steel while also describing the advantages of stainless steel in various applications.

    What Is Stainless Steel?

    Stainless steel is an alloy composed of varying amounts of manganese, silicon, chromium, and low-carbon steel. The chromium content in stainless steel provides lasting corrosion resistance in oxygenated environments and extreme temperatures and can deliver exceptional durability when hardened. While stainless steel is typically an alloy composed of the four components above, select grades add molybdenum and nickel to improve the corrosion resistance. While there are several compositions, for a steel alloy to be considered stainless steel, it must contain 10.5% chromium or more.

    Various grades of stainless steel exist to deliver performance in a broad spectrum of applications. Additives in stainless steel alloy include:

    • Carbon
    • Copper
    • Manganese
    • Molybdenum
    • Nickel
    • Nitrogen
    • Silicon
    • Sulfur

    Throughout the alloying process, manufacturers assess and measure the composition to create stainless steel with the desired properties.

    Types of Stainless Steel

    There are five primary types of stainless steel and various grades to choose from, with the 300 and 400 series being the most popular. The following five categories classify stainless steel:

    • Austenitic: The most popular stainless steel type that improves formability and weldability with nitrogen, manganese, and nickel additives.
    • Ferritic: A chromium-based, magnetic stainless steel used in limited applications with a carbon content of 0.10%.
    • Duplex: A 50/50 combination of austenitic and ferritic stainless steel that offers resistance and strength but does not withstand welding well.
    • Martensitic: A stainless steel type similar to ferritic steel that offers higher strength than ferritic but less resistance than austenitic steel due to its higher carbon content.
    • Precipitation Hardening (PH): A stainless steel type with aluminum, niobium, and copper additives and exceptional strength due to an aging heat treatment.

    Stainless Steel Benefits

    Stainless steel offers various advantages that make it a preferred choice in many applications. Benefits of stainless steel include:

    Strength

    Stainless steel is a high-strength alloy. It can maintain strength at extremely low and high temperatures making it desirable for many applications.

    Cleanliness

    Stainless steel prohibits pathogen and bacterial growth and can be easily cleaned and maintained. It can be cleaned to a shiny finish with a swabbing and all-purpose cleaner, followed by polishing. Stainless steel’s low maintenance and ease of cleaning make it ideal for sanitary applications in kitchens and hospitals.

    Aesthetics

    Stainless steel has a sleek metallic appearance that works well with classic and modern aesthetics. Homeowners appreciate the beauty and functionality of stainless steel in their homes. Stainless steel is a preferred material for home items like appliances that can increase the value and appearance of the space.

    Corrosion Resistance

    Stainless steel has excellent resistance to water staining, rust, and corrosion. It can handle various environmental conditions with extreme temperatures and pressures. The corrosion resistance of stainless steel comes from the chromium content that creates a self-repairing barrier over the surface of the metal to resist corrosion, rust, and damage. Grades of stainless steel with increased molybdenum, titanium, and nickel content can enhance the alloy’s properties, including corrosion resistance.

    Recyclability

    Stainless steel is highly recyclable. After a stainless steel product has exceeded its lifespan, it can be recycled to make other stainless steel products. Most stainless steel products already contain recycled materials.

    Durability

    Stainless steel is one of the most durable metals used today. It can be made lightweight and maintain a high toughness to reduce buckling under heavy loads. Stainless steel can hold  heavy weights in extreme environmental conditions, including high and low temperatures.

    Applications of Stainless Steel

    The following applications rely on stainless steel for its many advantages:

    • Medical: Stainless steel is a primary component of forceps, needle holders, blades, clamps, and surgical knives used in medicine. Artificial valves and pacemakers to help the heart pump blood and beat rely on stainless steel. Parts made of stainless steel are used in critical healthcare machinery like stretchers, ECG, and EKG systems.
    • Infrastructure: Aviation, marine, railway, and bridge construction applications rely on stainless steel for its corrosion-resistant properties. Many world economies depend on stainless steel infrastructure for its strength and corrosion resistance. It is also ideal for window and door frames, cladding, and roofing.
    • Machinery: Stainless steel’s cryogenic and conductive properties make it the preferred alloy for ovens, tanks, and heat exchangers. Petrochemical, chemical, food pickling, and desalination plants rely on stainless steel machinery. Paper and pulp, off-shore oil and gas, and marine applications also rely on stainless steel components.
    • Defense and Domestic: Stainless steel has been a primary material in defense since World War II due to its light weight and high tensile strength. Missiles, tank fasteners, and springs in artillery guns rely on stainless steel. It is also a primary material in domestic goods for daily life, including kitchen sinks, utensils, and vehicle fuel and exhaust lines. Domestic applications count for approximately 3/4 of modern stainless steel use.

    Rely on APM Hexseal for Your Stainless Steel Manufacturing Solutions

    Stainless steel is a preferred alloy for its durability at light weights, heat, weather, and corrosion resistance, and its ability to be made in various grades for the desired properties. APM Hexseal has been manufacturing stainless steel solutions for various industries for more than 60 years. Contact us or request a quote for your stainless steel solution today.

  3. Get Into the Groove

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    Founded in 1947, APM Hexseal is a leader in developing and manufacturing environmental sealing solutions for the advanced protection and longevity of circuit breakers and electromechanical switches.

    APM Hexseal is a trusted sealing products provider for extreme military, commercial, and industrial applications. With worldwide sales representation, a national and international distribution network, and a growing product line, we are well-equipped to service your sealing needs quickly and effectively. We also offer technical support, an experienced engineering team, and a first-rate machine shop for the development of exceptional customized sealing solutions.

    Our eBook “Get Into The Groove” gives an in-depth review of our processes and extensive line of sealing hardware grooves. Here you’ll find an overview of our sealing solutions.

    Custom Design in Our Sealing Solutions

    The designers, engineers, and manufacturers at APM Hexseal work together to develop durable products that withstand extreme operating environments. Our bolts, screws, and other fasteners have custom built-in grooves to ensure the sealing elements fit precisely under the fastener head.

    To ensure a long-lasting seal, our Seelnuts® have a unique groove that lets us mold the elastomer right into the threads. This product design creates a tight, leak-proof seal while preventing external debris or contaminants from entering operations.

    Our Custom Design Sealing Offerings

    With more than 70 years of industry experience, APM Hexseal has the knowledge and skills to deliver high-performance sealing solutions that meet the demands of even the most volatile environments. Our innovative sealing technology offers easy installation and effective sealing performance.

    Our sealing products are available in various locking options and multiple finishes:

    • Seelskrews® and Seelbolts®: The self-sealing fasteners provide a reusable and reliable seal that prevents contaminants from entering and fluids from escaping. They are effective in a broad range of applications, such as high-pressure and high-impact settings.
    • Seelnuts®: One of our earliest innovations is Seelnuts®, which offers reliable performance in temperatures between 103 °F and 400 °F. The self-sealing hardware products are beneficial in a wide variety of applications, easy to install, and compatible with standard bolts, screws, and studs.
    • Seeloc® Washers: Our Seeloc® washers are compatible with standard bolts, screws, and studs and can accommodate temperatures ranging between 103 °F and 400 °F with external pressures up to 100 psi. Used in a broad range of industries in various sealing applications, the washers consist of molded silicone rubber bonded to stainless steel washers. We also provide a heavy-duty variation that can produce 50% more torque handling capability.

    Uncompromised Fastener Integrity

    To achieve reliable fastening and sealing from the hardware, it is imperative that the fastener’s integrity remains completely intact during fabrication. When a groove gets cut into a screw, bolt, or nut after manufacturing, it could damage the structural integrity of the hardware, potentially leading to breakage and other issues. APM Hexseal maintains the integrity of our hardware by incorporating the groove into the manufacturing process with cold-forming techniques.

    Wide Range of Applications

    Choosing the proper fastener with the appropriate groove geometry is important to provide proper sealing. The screw size, panel cut-out, and other factors will determine the exact parameters of the intended groove for a fastener.

    Our experienced team can make individualized recommendations to ensure our hardware provides the best seal possible. We consider the clearance holes, panel characteristics, and other variables related to the application.

    APM Hexseal can customize nearly any aspect of a self-sealing fastener, such as:

    • Fastener material: While we typically use stainless steel for our standard fasteners, we can utilize many other metals to meet specific application needs.
    • Sealing ring material: We use a wide variety of elastomers to mold our sealing rings. Customers can choose from an array of materials based on the exact conditions the fastener will encounter in the specific application. We can also customize the elastomer color.
    • Value-added design features and finishes. Our fasteners can include locking features such as self-locking strips, patches, and pallets. We offer a broad range of finish and paint options to enhance the final product’s aesthetic appeal and overall functionality.

    Get Into the Groove With APM Hexseal

    Download our eBook “Get Into the Groove” to learn more about our sealing hardware product line. Regardless of your industry application, we can provide an appropriate sealing solution to meet your specific requirements.

  4. How to Select the Right Elastomer

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    An elastomer is a material that returns to its original shape after bending and stretching, which makes it especially useful for sealing seams to prevent gases, liquids, and more from getting in or out. There are more than 20 types of elastomers, each with specific properties for effective sealing in a range of applications, including marine, outdoor, medical, aerospace, lighting, agriculture, food and beverage, and more.

    What Is an Elastomer?

    Cover Assorted Parts

    Elastomers are polymers with the unique ability to return to their original shape, but that’s not the only reason they’re prized as a sealing material. Depending upon your application, you can choose an elastomer that exhibits exceptional heat resistance, flexibility even in low temperatures, hardness, and elongation at the breaking point (or how much tensile strength the elastomer can resist). They are also tear- and abrasion-resistant and they make good electrical insulators.

    Elastomers are commonly used in a variety of applications:

    • Automotive: Certain elastomers can resist high temperatures to prevent melting, which makes them useful in high-heat environments like automobiles. Polybutadiene, for example, is often used in tires to prevent wear.
    • Construction: In buildings, elastomers are used for window sealing, roof membranes, weather-stripping and waterproofing, and more.
    • Wire and Cable: Because elastomers are good insulators and provide high heat resistance, they’re common in the wire and cable industry. Neoprene is a popular choice for these applications.
    • Consumer and Industrial Products: Everything from appliances and industrial tools to shoes and sporting goods relies on elastomers to create effective seals against water, dirt, harmful contaminants, and more.
    • Medical: From medical equipment to devices like prosthetics, elastomers are used to prevent harmful contamination from dirt and chemicals while resisting heat, chemical abrasion, liquids, and more.

    Types of Elastomers

    There are two primary types of elastomers:

    • Saturated Elastomers: These include silicone rubber, polyacrylic rubber, and ethylene-vinyl acetate. They are exceptionally resistant to ozone, radiation, heat, and oxygen and cannot be cured via the sulfur vulcanization process.
    • Unsaturated Elastomers: These include nitrile rubber, butyl rubber, chloroprene rubber, polybutadiene, natural polyisoprene, and other elastomers with carbon-carbon double or triple bonds. They can be cured with sulfur or non-sulfur vulcanization.

    Even within these categories, different types of elastomers have specific benefits that make them well-suited to specific applications. You have to consider the elastomer’s unique properties and the operating conditions it will face in your application.

    Elastomer Selection Considerations

    Choosing the right elastomer will have an impact on the lifespan of the elastomer (as well as the associated component and even the machine as a whole), as well as how effectively it’s able to create a trustworthy seal in the given environment. There are many factors to consider when selecting an elastomer material:

    • Extreme temperatures and weather conditions
    • Moisture levels
    • Object interference
    • Exposure to oils and corrosive chemicals
    • Human and environmental contaminants
    • Industry requirements (ASTM, MIL-SPEC, etc.)
    • Budget (with consideration for immediate costs as well as the cost of failure and elastomer replacement)

    High-Quality Elastomer Sealing Solutions From APM Hexseal

    Since 1947, APM Hexseal has been providing reliable sealing solutions for critical applications around the world. With more than 100 patents, we’re known for innovative solutions that are proudly manufactured in the United States, and over the years we’ve produced more than 50 million APM Hexseal boots for more than 200,000 customers with applications like military and combat equipment, off-road vehicles, medical devices, boats, beverage dispensing equipment, and so much more.

    To better answer the question “What are elastomers?” and understand how to choose the right one for your application, download our eBook, Elastomer, Shlastomer, Right? You’re welcome to contact us anytime with your questions, or request a quote for your elastomer project today.

  5. Benefits of Working with an American Manufacturer

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    Since 1947, APM Hexseal has been a leading provider of top-quality internal and external sealing solutions for various industries and applications. We proudly manufacture all of our sealing solutions in our New Jersey manufacturing facility. While many companies have moved their manufacturing operations overseas in an effort to find cheaper labor and production costs, we understand the many benefits of manufacturing in the United States.

    Shorter Lead Times

    When you partner with an American manufacturer, your lead times can be drastically reduced. If the component or product you need is in stock, it can typically ship right away, drastically reducing lead times. When products have a shorter distance to travel, it can speed up the sales process, keep shipping costs low, enable agile forecast responses, and improve the overall customer experience.

    Quality Control

    Quality is essential, and US-made products abide by higher standards than many overseas-made products. Local or geographically closer production facilities enable tighter quality control to ensure all products adhere to the required specifications and standards. If problems arise, it’s easier to catch and correct them, saving valuable time and money. In addition, you can be sure that all materials used meet all necessary quality and safety standards, making sure you’re receiving the best possible product.

    Reduced Cost for Deliveries

    Working with an overseas manufacturer increases the delivery time and costs. While manufacturing overseas may save on labor, freighting costs can diminish your savings. US manufacturers reduce outbound and inbound delivery costs, and there are a wealth of domestic shipping options compared to the few overseas options, ensuring a delivery arrives as intended.

    Environmentally Friendly

    Working with a manufacturer in the United States leads to lower carbon emissions and energy consumption. Shipping overseas requires carbon-emitting freighters and various other vehicles for last-mile deliveries. The “maker movement” is a trend emerging in the US, meaning customers are seeking local manufacturers to reduce the environmental impact of shipping goods internationally. It can be complicated to verify the environmental guidelines of overseas manufacturers. Clients can more easily investigate the environmental practices of the manufacturer if they operate locally.

    Partner With APM Hexseal for Your US-Made Sealing Solutions

    APM Hexseal is glad to offer a range of sealing solutions manufactured right here in the United States. When your products are made in the United States, you are closer to your supply chain, avoiding interruptions, miscommunications, and unexpected costs. American-made products ensure higher levels of customer satisfaction with high-quality products delivered quickly.

    APM Hexseal provides sealing solutions for a wide range of industries, including:

    • Agriculture
    • Automotive
    • Electronics
    • Energy Generation
    • Chemical/Petroleum
    • And Many More

    With over 200,000 satisfied customers, we are your reliable source for high-quality American-made sealing products.

    For more information about how working with an American manufacturer can benefit your business, contact us today. You can also request a quote to learn more about our products.

  6. Green Manufacturing With APM Hexseal’s Products

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    Manufacturing is one of the most critical sectors in the United States’ economy. It touches almost every facet of the business sector, from retail to transportation to construction. Although this field is crucial to the United States, historically, manufacturing has negatively impacted the environment due to the toxic gasses and chemicals released into the air. Green manufacturing can lessen the environmental impact of manufacturing and APM Hexseal’s products provide many benefits for eco-conscious companies.

    Benefits of Using APM Hexseal Products For Green Manufacturing

    APM Hexseal products are perfect for green energy solutions (solar, wind, hydropower, etc.) because we design every part to protect sensitive electronics from the elements, meaning they are more durable and don’t need to be replaced as often. They are also ideal for use in the renewable energy sector due to their resilience in harsh weather conditions. Our parts are easy to recycle and reuse, so not only are they cost-efficient, they produce far less waste.

    They protect the environment from hazardous materials due to their ability to prevent substances from leaking out of devices or containers. This ensures that toxic materials are stored in their intended locations and effectively sealed inside. APM Hexseal products are an efficient means of progress for companies looking to improve their sustainability and move towards green manufacturing practices. Some of the industries that can benefit from our eco-conscious products include:

    • Marine Industry: In the marine industry, mission-critical equipment is continuously submerged in highly salinated water. Our seals not only protect vital equipment and technologies from corrosion and damage but also create an airtight seal to protect vulnerable marine environments from contamination by preventing fluid and gas leakages.
    • Agriculture Industry: Agricultural machinery must withstand harsh operating environments that include exposure to UV rays, corrosive materials, and extreme temperatures while simultaneously protecting crops from contamination. Our sealing systems effectively protect equipment by preventing the infiltration of environmental hazards and keeping necessary operational fluids safely contained.
    • Food & Beverage Industry: From dispensing and processing equipment to individual food and beverage containers, seals are essential to prevent product contamination. Standard manufacturing processes in the food and beverage industry produce significant amounts of environmental waste. Implementing APM’s reusable, recyclable seals can drastically reduce the amount of manufacturing waste produced in the food and beverage industry.
    • Medical & Pharmaceutical Industries: Lifesaving devices in the medical and pharmaceutical industries require extra levels of protection from environmental hazards to increase service life and comply with FDA regulations. Durable sealing solutions from APM Hexseal extend the working life of these critical devices, decreasing manufacturing costs and promoting sustainability.
    • Lighting Industry: Our seals protect fragile lighting equipment from general contamination, weather, exposure to liquids, and pressure changes, thereby extending the equipment’s life and increasing its energy efficiency.
    • Energy Industry: Rubber seals, o-rings, and gaskets are essential components in the energy sector, finding applications in solar, hydro, wind, nuclear, and coal energy productions. Our seals optimize the flow of electricity through these systems to provide clean energy worldwide.

    Get Started with Green Manufacturing at APM Hexseal

    Green manufacturing has all but secured its place as the future of manufacturing and for good reason. Going green provides numerous benefits to manufacturers from cost savings and reduced environmental impact to boosted reputation and employee morale. Ensuring that hazardous materials don’t leak into the environment and that facilities don’t waste energy reduces the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. 

    Since 1947, APM Hexseal has put environmental sustainability at the forefront with efforts to develop sealing solutions that extend the life of electronics in wide-ranging industries. With a full line of reusable, self-sealing washers and fasteners, we have a sealing solution ideal for any application. To learn more about APM Hexseal’s products, ask the experts. Ever better!

  7. Is a Gasket the Same as a Washer?

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    APM Hexseal is a leading provider of durable high-quality sealing hardware, including custom-molded gaskets and washers. Gaskets and washers are often assumed to be the same thing, as they have a similar design and are both used in conjunction with other components. While they have a similar appearance, they serve very different purposes.

    APM Hexseal Seeloc WasheGasket vs. Washer: What’s the Difference?

    Although gaskets and washers share some similarities, they serve different functions. Gaskets are used to prevent leaks around mating surfaces, whereas washers are used to distribute the load of a threaded fastener. Most washers won’t have the ability to prevent fluid or gas leakage; therefore, gaskets are the better choice for sealing applications. 

    The shape and size of washers are also different compared to gaskets. Most washers are small and feature a uniform circular shape to enable them to fit around bolts. Gaskets are not used with bolts, meaning they are available in a wider variety of shapes and sizes. In terms of materials, washers are almost always made of metal; whereas gaskets can be made of metals, metal alloys, rubber, and other materials.

    Common types of gaskets include:

    • Flange gaskets
    • Constant seating gaskets
    • Spiral-wound gaskets
    • Soft-cut gaskets

    Common types of washers include:

    • Plain washers
    • Locking washers
    • Spring washers
    • Torque washers

    Industry Applications 

    Bonded sealing washers are used throughout industries such as aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, marine, military, and mining. Their durability and effectiveness make them suitable for applications such as:

    • HVAC equipment
    • Marine electronics
    • Construction and industrial equipment
    • Hydraulics and braking systems

    Gaskets are used in nearly every industry, with applications such as:

    • Aerospace equipment
    • Wind turbines
    • Medical equipment
    • Electronics
    • Automotive
    • Heavy equipment

    Custom-Molded Gaskets from APM Hexseal

    Molded gaskets feature high durability and can withstand a wide range of operating environments. At APM Hexseal, we offer custom-molded gaskets to meet the needs of our customers. Our experienced team of designers, engineers, and manufacturing experts can work with you to develop a reliable, rugged, and high-quality gasket based on your specific application requirements.

    Along with our custom-molded gaskets, we also offer a self-sealing hexagonal nut, the Seelnut®. This innovative product is made from high-quality rubber, which is molded into the cavity of the nut itself. These nuts feature threads molded directly into the rubber, and they provide a positive seal along the threaded section of the Seelnut® and with the contact surface. This eliminates the need for gaskets, extra surface preparation, and sealing compounds.

    Washers from APM Hexseal

    As part of our product line, APM Hexseal produces our patented Seeloc washers. 

    Our  Washers feature molded silicone rubber bonded to specially formed stainless steel washers. These washers work in conjunction with standard studs, screws, or bolts to create an airtight seal unlike any other. By forming an effective seal, Seeloc® Washers ensure optimal performance of electrical and mechanical equipment.  They are UL recognized, making them a perfect choice for NEMA rated applications.

    Types of Seeloc® washers we offer include:

    • Metric Seeloc® Washers. These washers are available in all standard metric measurements to ensure an easy selection process for manufacturers around the world. They can withstand a broad range of temperatures and can resist fungus, dust, most acids and oils, ozone, and more. Also available in heavy duty. 
    • Imperial Seeloc® Washers. These washers can handle torque values at least 50% higher than our original Seeloc® Washers. They are ideal for various sealing applications, including medical equipment, chemical handling, construction equipment, and food processing. Also available in heavy duty. 

    Gaskets and Washers from APM Hexseal

    Washers and gaskets have different functions, but whichever one you need, APM Hexseal has you covered with our innovative solutions. If you have any questions about washers, gaskets, or our products, ask our experts or request a quote today.

  8. The Purpose of Washers & Why They’re Used With Fasteners

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    A washer is a mechanical component that consists of a circular flattened metal, plastic, or rubber disk with a hole through the middle. Washers are typically used with fasteners such as screws and bolts to distribute the load of the fastener, prevent damage to sensitive surface materials, and reduce the potential for leaks. Are washers necessary? That depends largely on the application and the substrate. 

    For more than 70 years, APM Hexseal has been creating innovative sealing solutions for customers in every industry. We leverage our extensive knowledge and hands-on experience to create cutting-edge sealing fasteners that meet the most rigorous expectations. In this article, we discuss the purpose of washers and their uses with fasteners.

    The Purpose of Washers

    APM Hexseal Seeloc WasheFasteners join two or more surfaces together through the use of threaded screws or bolts. Washers are incorporated into fastening hardware for everything from wooden furniture to automotive engines. 

    How Do Washers Work With Bolts?

    To enhance fastener performance, a washer is placed on the bolt or screw between the head and the mating surface. In some applications, washers may also be placed between the nut and object surface. 

    What is the Purpose of a Washer?

    Since not all applications require them, it can be difficult to determine when to use washers. Washers serve a variety of purposes, including: 

    • Load Distribution: Fasteners exert high levels of force when installed. Washers help to distribute that load to prevent damage to the material. Without washers, materials are more likely to crack due to tightening pressure.
    • Spacing: If the length of the bolt or screw is greater than the object’s thickness, it is impossible to sufficiently tighten the fastener without the screw protruding from the other side. By adding washers, you can create enough space to prevent the fastener from going too far into the substrate.
    • Absorbing Vibrations: Washers made from plastic or rubber absorb vibrations in high vibration applications. Vibration reduction keeps the fasteners from loosening over time and helps to protect the attached equipment from vibration damage.
    • Sealing Connections: Washers can be used to seal joints on piping, tubing, and ductwork, to create a waterproof seal that prevents gas or fluid leakage. 

    Why Washers Are Used With Fasteners

    To determine whether a washer is appropriate for your application, it is important to know how washers work with bolts, screws, and other fasteners. 

    • Washers Divide Weight: When you add a washer, the force exerted by the fastener is spread out over a larger area, reducing the potential for cracks due to pressure and stress.
    • Washers Enhance Space: Washers help to ensure that the bolts and screws fit snugly. By threading the fastener through the washer before installation, you ensure that the fastener doesn’t go too deeply into the surface material.
    • Vibration Reduction: Vibration isolation washers are manufactured using soft vibration-absorbent materials like rubber or plastic. They help to absorb vibration, reducing the amount of stress applied to the fastener and surrounding equipment. 
    • Leak Protection: By creating an airtight, watertight seal, washers can prevent liquid from leaking around the drilled fastener holes in plumbing and process piping and connections.

    Seeloc Washers From APM Hexseal

    Using the latest technology, APM Hexseal has created a washer that provides all of the benefits of traditional washer materials in one convenient package. Our state-of-the-art Seeloc® washers consist of strong, corrosion-resistant stainless steel bonded to flexible silicone rubber, for a soft yet durable sealing and fastening solution.

    Our Seeloc Washers are self-sealing for use with traditional screws, nuts, and bolts. We also offer captivated designs for time-sensitive applications. They are available in imperial and metric sizes, in both standard and heavy duty. The captivated Seeloc washers remain attached to the screw, which reduces the potential for lost parts and allows for quicker, easier installation.

    Learn More About our Quality Sealing Solutions

    Whether you need a vibration-absorbent bonded washer for industrial machinery or a captivated sealing washer for automotive equipment, APM Hexseal has the perfect solution for your needs! Ask the experts for more information on our innovative self-sealing fasteners and other sealing solutions. 

  9. Common Causes of Metal Roof Leaks

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    Metal roof leaks are not unusual, but they can be extremely costly. Undetected and unchecked, a leak can allow moisture to collect on roof supports, interior walls and ceilings, and even structural supports that keep the building standing. Over time, moisture can cause these building components to rust or rot. Standing water in the building interior can also promote microbial growth, which can cause severe air quality issues and health problems. 

    Metal Roof LeakAt APM Hexseal, we understand that an impenetrable metal roof is critical for keeping your building protected from moisture. Our sealing products are specifically designed to withstand the extreme conditions and corrosion that are common in outdoor roofing applications. In this article, we discuss common causes of metal roof leaks, how to fix them, and ways to prevent future leaks.

    Common Problems of Metal Roof Leaks

    The most common cause of metal roof leaks is the roofing screws used to attach the panels to the frame of the building. The screw design, installation method, and angle can all affect the way that the roof performs over time. Metal roofing screws create a hole in the roof, but generally do not seal the opening. Even when a sealant is used, screws that are under-driven, over-driven, or installed at the wrong angle all present opportunities for moisture to leak under the metal paneling. 

    In addition to poor screw design and installation, other causes of metal roof leaks include: 

    • Faulty Screws: Poorly performing screws with misaligned threads or breakage can create an opening in metal roofing. Over time, rubber washers degrade and lose their sealing properties.
    • Missing Sealants: Quality metal roofing installations include sealing hardware or liquid sealants that prevent leakage from screw holes, panel seams, and other vulnerable points. These sealants must be replaced over time due to environmental wear.
    • Overlapping Seams: If your metal roofing is not installed flush, the overlapping seams can create a space for liquid to pool and leak into the interior of the building.
    • Stack and Curb Flashings: Flashings are plastic sheets just under the exterior roof and walls of a building or the rubber boots that surround extruding pipes. They are used to prevent moisture from entering the interior of the building. Poorly installed or missing flashing can result in damaging moisture leaks if the exterior is not sufficiently sealed.
    • Misplaced Screws: In some cases, stray screws used for wood framing or struts may miss the mark and pierce the roof, creating an unexpected hole that can easily be overlooked. 

    How to Fix the Leak in Your Metal Roof

    After installing a metal roof, it is critical to double-check your work to ensure all screws are properly installed. If your metal roof screws are leaking, it is important to take care of the issue as quickly as possible. Sealing metal roof leaks around screws with an external sealant may temporarily fix the issue, but surface sealant wears off over time. Instead, opt for sealing hardware such as APM Hexseal’s Seelskrews, Seelbolts, Seelnuts, and Seeloc Washers. Our stainless steel hardware features rubber-bonded threads and surfaces to serve the dual purpose of fastening and sealing. They will automatically seal metal roof leaks around screws without the need for additional sealing hardware or messy liquid sealants. For your installation and construction equipment, we also provide metal-to-rubber bonded washers, sealing boots, and bushing seals to protect your equipment controls. 

    Sealing Products From APM Hexseal

    APM Hexseal Seelskrews & SeelboltsWhen your metal roof is leaking around the screws, APM Hexseal provides a variety of durable, corrosion-resistant sealing solutions. Our sealing hardware, boots, and bushing seals are specifically engineered for heavy-duty use in extreme conditions. Not only do our sealing fasteners help to eliminate existing roof leaks, but they also prevent future roof leaks.

    Sealing Hardware

    APM Hexseal’s sealing hardware acts as both a fastener and a seal, so you can ensure the integrity of your metal roofing without the risk of leaks around the screws. Our selection of proprietary sealing hardware includes: 

    • Seelskrews® & Seelbolts®
    • Seelnuts®
    • Seeloc Washers®

    Sealing Boots & Bushing Seals

    In addition to our sealing fasteners, we offer a selection of molded sealing boots to protect electrical components, as well as quality bushing seals for switches and push-buttons.

    Reach Out to Us Today!

    Do you have questions about your metal roofing screws, or are you facing other sealing challenges? Ask the experts at APM Hexseal today!

  10. Why Use Sealing Hardware?

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    Sealing HardwareIn the industrial sector, sealing hardware plays a critical role in ensuring components are securely fastened within a system and preventing contaminants—such as liquids and gases—from moving through the sealed area. Depending on the type of hardware—e.g., screws, nuts, bolts, and washers—and design employed, industry professionals can also take advantage of additional functions and features.

    The following blog post provides an overview of some of the benefits of using sealing hardware, as well as outlines the types of sealing hardware available at APM Hexseal.

    Benefits of Using Sealing Hardware

    When exposed to variable internal and external pressures and high vibration levels, fasteners in fluid systems can experience improper or inadequate sealing that leads to the leakage of process fluid and loss of pressure. These effects, in turn, affect the integrity and efficiency of the process and the performance and stability of the system—ultimately leading to lower productivity, greater downtime, and larger investments into maintenance and repair operations.

    For situations where regular fasteners are unable to prevent the unintentional flow of fluids, sealing hardware serves as an excellent solution. The specialized fasteners are designed to contain and prevent contaminants, such as air, dust, water, and lubricants, from leaking out of or into sealed areas of a system. In addition to this primary purpose, specific types of sealing hardware may also perform other functions. For example:

    • Sealing screws and bolts, such as Seelskrews® and Seelbolts®, can be designed to perform in environments regularly exposed to high levels of vibrations and impact
    • Sealing nuts, such as Seelnuts®, can feature designs capable of withstanding significant internal and external pressures
    • Sealing washers, such as Seeloc® washers, are available in heavy-duty variations that endure higher torque values without experiencing excessive damage or wear

    Regardless of the type of sealing hardware employed, ensuring it performs its critical function necessitates choosing the right solution for the system. Proper selection entails considering several factors regarding the particular system—such as process fluids and operating pressures and temperatures—and sourcing quality products from a reputable supplier. Fortunately, APM Hexseal offers several sealing solutions suitable for use in a wide range of operating conditions. 

    Sealing Hardware From APM Hexseal

    APM Hexseal Sealing HardwareAt APM Hexseal, we understand that our customers often need more than a fastener for their industrial equipment. In addition to holding system components together, they require a solution that prevents process fluids—whether in gaseous or liquid form—from leaking in or out. As the first designer and manufacturer of self-sealing fasteners, we offer a number of patented solutions, including:

    • Seelskrews and Seelbolts. Our proprietary hardware is specially designed to withstand high vibrations and repeated impact—serving as reliable seals against liquids and gases—including in applications that involve constant vigorous motion.
    • Seelnuts. These hardware components are particularly useful for equipment exposed to exceptional internal or external pressures, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. They feature threads molded directly into the rubber of the interior surface, a design that allows them to form a positive seal between the threaded section and the contact surface. Their exceptional sealing ability eliminates the need for gaskets, sealing compounds, or other sealing components, thereby reducing the overall cost of hardware for the system. In addition, their superior performance saves both time and money on repairs and downtime. These qualities result in more reliable and cost-effective equipment. They are compatible with conventional fasteners like screws, bolts, and studs.
    • Seeloc® Washers. Our self-sealing stainless steel washers are bonded on one side with silicone rubber, enabling them to endure pressures up to 100psi.
    • Heavy-duty Seeloc washers. Our new line of heavy-duty washers withstands torque values at least 50% greater than our original Seeloc Washers. Wear and pressure resistance at this level reduce the need for frequent maintenance and repairs on high-powered equipment. 

    APM Hexseal’s UL Certification

    Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an internationally recognized safety consulting and certification organization approved by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to perform safety testing, inspections, and audits of new technology. By achieving and maintain UL certification, we aim to meet higher safety, security, and sustainability standards when developing our innovative sealing products. As many of our patented solutions are UL recognized, they are certified to be compliant with some of the most stringent industry requirements.

    For additional information about sealing hardware or assistance with a specific project, ask the experts at APM Hexseal.

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