Mechanical and electrical controls such as control panels, circuit breakers, and switches can malfunction if not sealed properly and components are left vulnerable to harmful contaminants. Sealing boots function to guard those controls against various contaminants such as grease, cleaning solvents, sand, lubricants, liquids, saltwater, dust, and dirt. They are tough, flexible molded rubber devices used for rotary, rocker, pushbutton, and toggle switches. Choosing a proper sealing boot can help you prevent your electronic and mechanical controls from being damaged by an intrusive substance which could lead to a malfunction or failure, resulting in costly equipment downtime.
How To Choose The Right Boot
One of the factors you need to consider when choosing the right sealing boot is the type of mechanical or electrical switch that needs sealing. Toggle switches, pushbutton switches, rotary switches, and circuit breakers all require different types of sealing boots.
Another factor you need to consider is the specific elastomer you will need to select, based on the environment in which the boot will be utilized. Location of the system, what contaminants could be present and temperature fluctuations are all important criteria. Matching the proper elastomer with the potential hazard or chemical is key to ensuring that the sealing boot functions at optimum performance and the integrity of the system is maintained. The experts at APM Hexseal can assist you in choosing the proper elastomer for your application.
Color is another important consideration in selecting a sealing boot. Some boots are available in a wide range of colors to meet the customers’ different aesthetic requirements. In addition, we manufacture a line of glow in the dark Illuma-boots, that will maintain their glow for up to two hours, following a power outage.
APM Hexseal manufactures a wide array of sealing boots, available in various elastomers, colors and styles. Many of our boots easily install over standard switches currently on the market. If one of our standard products does not solve your problem, we can create a custom solution for your unique system and application. Our engineering team will collaborate closely with you, to develop a solution that will keep your systems functioning in the most challenging environments.
Types of Sealing Boots
With the previously mentioned considerations in mind, selecting the right sealing boot for your application becomes simple. Sealing boot types include:
- Toggle Boots: This is a silicone-based boot featuring a single-piece outer seal over a threaded mounting nut. It is designed with a panel-sealing rib for improved sealing.
- Circuit Breaker Boots: These boots feature a patented perimeter sealing rib and vibration-resistant mounting for consistent and reliable circuit breaker sealing.
- Pushbutton Boots: The boots are ideal for standard unsealed and hermetically sealed push-button switches that operate in challenging environmental conditions.
- Rotary Boots: This option consists of an open silicone sealing boot for rotary switches featuring a threaded, nickel-plated brass mounting nut. This is a deliberate design to withstand excessive friction without restricting motion while creating a durable, firm, corrosion-resistant seal.
- Rocker Boots: Rocker switches have on/off capabilities. Because of this, rocker boots feature a transparent silicone design, allowing for easy viewing of the switch position. Installers mount them on the device before they install the switch itself.
The type of switch you need to seal, and the location of the system are paramount in determining which sealing boot you will need. Examples of industries that use sealing boots include medical, marine, lighting, food handling, energy production, automotive, agriculture, construction, renewables, military, and aerospace. Every device is potentially vulnerable to contaminants. From something as challenging as a panel on a weather buoy in the middle of the ocean, to something as simple as a human being touching a switch with food particles or grease on their fingers – the right sealing boot can save your equipment from costly and dangerous failures.
Learn More About Our Products
APM Hexseal is an American-based company that manufactures environmental sealing solutions to protect and prolong the life of mechanical and electrical controls such as circuit breakers and switches. If you are looking for more information about our sealing boots, download our new eBook, “Sealing Boots Selection Guide: How to Choose the Right Boot for Your Next Project.”