17 Jan Automotive Rim Seals for Leak Detection
Nobody likes it when they have a flat tire or even when a tire is running low. All modern vehicles have the capability of alerting the driver when a tire is losing pressure, hopefully before the low tire becomes a problem needing an expensive repair or even creating an unsafe driving situation.
To prevent this before it becomes a problem, auto manufacturers go to great lengths to prevent tires from losing air and so need to be able to check if there is a leak in the tire/wheel combination. This requires rim seal test equipment that forms a seal on the wheel rim and holds pressure such that any leakage can be attributed to the wheel rim geometry being out of tolerance, hairline cracks or porosity in the wheel casting.
Large leaks are relatively easy to detect using a traditional bubble test in a water bath where air bubbles are visible as a continuous stream. Smaller leaks with lower leak rates are not so easy to detect and are found using a Helium or Helium/air mix. The low molecular weight of Helium makes it ideal for leak testing. The only element with a lower molecular weight is Hydrogen but that is combustible and presents an unacceptable explosion risk and so is not used.
The seals used are a round urethane type with a circular section that prevents gas or fluid leaks in leak testing applications. They come in a variety of diameters and thicknesses with either a hollow or solid center.
The seals used in leak testing applications are typically made with a durable urethane material bonded to a metal plate with a circular section that seats against the rim, preventing gas or fluid leaks. They come in a variety of diameters and thicknesses with different sealing angles, a different urethane hardness, and with either a hollow or solid center–all depending on the customer’s application.
In addition to providing helium-capable seals, IB Moore also offers a refurbishing service to return rim leak tester sealing plates to as-new condition. The plates are stripped and re-covered with new urethane seals as part of the process.
IB Moore’s premium seals are made from durable urethane materials for a long-lasting, reliable seal, even in demanding environments.
If you have a demanding seal application that off the shelf o-rings don’t work for, contact us at https://ibmoore.com/request-quote/with your application requirements and a description of where the problem lies and our dedicated team of sealing experts will be happy to discuss it with you and propose solutions.
By Gil Felhoelter, Sales Manager, IB Moore Co. LLC
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