R&D Capabilities | Water & Sanitary Industry | Trelleborg

R&D Capabilities

Designing and developing seals to meet your water and sanitary application needs

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions provides a wide variety of standard products and materials to meet your requirements. Our dedicated Research and Development (R&D) Centers work continuously to increase our portfolio with new and updated designs and materials that optimize application performance and follow the evolving needs of the potable water and sanitary industry.

Working together to develop custom sealing solutions

When standard solutions don’t meet your needs, our engineers work with you to develop a customized component that does. Our Research and Development centers are proud to offer the following:

  • Close collaboration with our customers
  • Customized solutions using the latest in non-linear Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques
  • Cutting edge manufacturing techniques to optimize performance
  • Material development to meet requirements and standards

Material Development and Testing
The development of polymer materials blends the science of understanding material chemistry with the art of balancing a wide range of performance characteristics to produce the optimal materials for each unique customer need. The potable water and sanitary segments are no exception, and our material development is tailored to emerging trends within the industry:

  • Material development experts are located in all of our manufacturing facilities and R&D centers around the globe.
  • R&D centers are equipped with material testing and analytical laboratories to guarantee materials are capable of performing in a wide range of environments and achieve relevant industry material certification.

Application critical testing is offered for the potable water and sanitary industry, such as chloramine and chlorine resistance testing.
Trelleborg has developed its own testing regime, similar in nature to current ASTM tests, comprising an 840 hour immersion test at 70° C / 158 °F, followed by visual inspection and determination of changes in hardness and volume. Combined with new Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) capabilities, seals and materials can be validated and performance measured before field use, leading to reduced costs and higher reliability.

Material Development for Chlorine and Chloramine

Material Development: Chlorine and Chloramine

Special EPDM grades identified to optimize seal performance
As chlorine is replaced by chloramine as a disinfectant in potable water in the US, there is a potential risk of seal failure due to incompatibility of elastomers with chloramine. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has undertaken an extensive R&D program to identify the optimum sealing material for US potable water applications.

Chloramine: a new challenge for sealing materials

Chloramine is replacing chlorine as a disinfectant within drinking water supplies in many US states to better meet existing and anticipated federal drinking water requirements. Chloramine has been shown to produce less disinfectant by-products (DPBs) than chlorine, which are carcinogenic and considered harmful to our health.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is typically specified for potable and sanitary water applications due to its overall resistance to chlorine. However, formulations do not necessarily possess the same resilience against chloramine. This change in chemistry can cause serious problems for seals specified for chlorine, with many manufacturers experiencing a higher frequency of seal failure, resulting from a loss of resilience and extensive swelling.

Propriatary testing regime for chloramine and chlorine

For seals to remain effective, material development at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has focused on additional formulations and resistance testing. We have expanded on existing ASTM chlorine and chloramine testing to develop our own, more stringent, proprietary testing regime to satisfy modern application conditions. This includes:

  • 840 hour immersion tests, carried out at +70 °C / +158 °F
  • Two separate tests, one with 50ppm of chlorine and another with 50ppm chloramine

In addition, recently expanded test capabilities allow more materials to be tested at once and tests to be customized to customer requirements.

Special EPDM compounds for potable water applications

Trelleborg’s tests have led to the identification of a number of EPDM compounds, either NSF certified or compliant with other regional approvals, that offer improved resistance to both chlorine and chloramine, to optimize seal performance in sanitary and potable water applications.

Chloramine Testing - Changes in Hardness and Volume

Chlorine Testing - Changes in Hardness and Volume