Metal detectable seals and plastics materials
In food production, one of the most frequent requests of customers is to identify solutions capable of preventing any unwanted objects -especially plant parts- from ending up in the product. To avoid the danger of intrusions, metal detectors are normally used at the end of the line to detect the presence of metals or metal detectable materials inside the product.
One of our customers, a main Italian manufacturers of food plants and in particular of filling machines for dense liquids, had noticed an increase in demand from customers, mainly northern Europeans, for metal-detectable components within the plant, so to be able to increase the quality of the product and guarantee the absence of foreign parts.
Firstly, the ATP technical team analyzed the various applications of the system that included plastic materials and proposed a replacement with a metaldetectable material with the same characteristics.
A common feature and indispensable prerogative was that all the materials proposed were BLUE in color, and meet the FDA, EU 1935/2004 (MOCA), EU 10/2011 certifications.
- SINTEK® V1-AL MDX (Polytetafluoroethylene – PTFE BLUE) was used for dispensers’ seals, in the guide bands and in all the valve bodies previously made of food-grade PTFE.
- EKOGLIS® -S-AL-MDX (POM BLU) replaced, without modifying its geometry, all components such as bushings, sliding surfaces and other elements previously made in POM or PA (Nylon).
- SINTEK® EPDM MDX (blue EPDM) was used for the production of special turned gaskets with both static and dynamic function, with all fluid products (even with high density) with the exception of fat-based products (with high presence of lipids ) for which SINTEK® FKM MDX (blue fluoropolymer) was preferred. The latter was also used in the presence of chemically more aggressive fluids where compounds such as FPM or FKM had already been used in the past.
- MDX SILICONE, worked with the water jet technology, has replaced the materials of the flat gaskets, previously obtained from food-grade silicone plates, and some elastomeric separators
In general, the replacement of the gaskets was the one that required more studies and in-depth studies as in addition to the modification of the material it was necessary to verify the need or not for specific adaptations with new geometries. All the materials have all been tested by the customer before the production of the parts through a passage under the metal detector of simple material samples.
“Thanks to the solutions proposed by ATP we have been able to face new markets and meet the needs of our increasingly demanding customers”