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Saint-Gobain seal receives OK for use in military helicopters

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GARDEN GROVE, Calif.—Saint-Gobain Seals' OmniSeal spring-energized seals have been qualified for application in various sections of rotorhead in military helicopters.

The business unit of Saint-Gobain S.A. said four of its seals have been qualified for sealing purposes—including sealing the inboard pitch-varying housing, outboard pitch-varying housing, vertical hinge pin and horizontal hinge pin.

The recent qualification acts as a system solution complement to Saint-Gobain's OmniLip lip seals, which perform sealing in helicopter gearboxes.

Saint-Gobain said the rotor system is an externally visible, rotating part of a helicopter responsible for generating lift.

The system consists of a mast, hub and rotor blades, which are connected to one end of the hollow, cylindrical mast at the point of attachment—the hub or rotorhead.

As the mast rotates at hundreds of rotations per minute during a powered flight, Saint-Gobain said it is very important that seals located at various positions of the rotary system prevent oils and greases from leaking and contaminants—such as ice, water and dirt—from entering.

Loss of lubrication can lead to catastrophic failures, so seals must be capable of dry running.

All four seals were designed uniquely and customized to meet key requirements such as dry running, and are a special type of Saint-Gobain Seals' product family of OmniSeal, the firm said.

The product line is available in multiple designs along with various custom designs.

Saint-Gobain said these seals can handle temperatures ranging from -67°F up to 200°F. OmniSeal is available in multiple designs and various custom designs.

Saint-Gobain Seals is a business unit under Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics' Engineered Components division and consists of sites in Garden Grove; Kontich, Belgium; and Shanghai.

Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries with about 193,000 employees and reported 2012 sales of approximately $58.3 billion.