What is a Hermetic Seal?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Hermetic seals are airtight seals that prevent the invasion of oxygen, moisture, humidity, and any outside contaminant to enter a sealed environment. The concept is found in building construction, where the double paned windows that are used in both home and office building construction rely on the presence of the hermetic seal in order to prevent any type of moisture or contaminants from getting between the two panes of glass. These windows make it easier to control the climate within the building space. Should the seals fail, there is generally a fogging effect that appears between the panes, which is a clear indicator that the panes are no longer able to perform their function and should be replaced immediately.

Hermetic seals are used to preserve food.
Hermetic seals are used to preserve food.

The hermetic seal is also often found in the food industry as well. Many companies have begun to use them in packaging as a way to keep foods fresh without the need for a lot of preservatives. One good example of this sort of airtight packaging is the reinforced foil packages that are used with tuna and salmon. Until the consumer opens the package, the contents remain fresh and usable for long periods of time, and do not require some of the additives that lower the nutritional value of the product.

A hermetic seal allows airline passengers to travel safely by maintaining pressure and oxygen levels within the aircraft.
A hermetic seal allows airline passengers to travel safely by maintaining pressure and oxygen levels within the aircraft.

Air travel and deep sea diving would be impossible without the presence of a hermetic seal. The airtight sealing makes it possible to maintain a level of pressure and oxygen within a plane that is comfortable for everyone on board. With undersea explorations, seals on all entrances to a submarine or bathysphere keep the water out and the oxygen in, while also helping to keep pressure at an acceptable level for human life. They also mean that planes can fly higher and faster, and marine biologists can explore more of the ocean than ever before.

They're also used in the telecommunications industry. Fiber cables use hermetic seals to keep out moisture and humidity that could over time corrode and weaken the individual fibers that process telephone signals. In like manner, cable companies will use the same strategy, ensuring that cable, Internet, and phone service to their customer base remains consistent. The seals on telecommunication cables makes it possible to safely suspend the cable from electrical poles or bury the cable, with no worries of corrosion or a breakdown due to weather and climate conditions.

Hermetic seals are used on all entrances of submarines to maintain proper air pressure and to keep water out and oxygen in.
Hermetic seals are used on all entrances of submarines to maintain proper air pressure and to keep water out and oxygen in.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

anon348624

I have a heat detector that is hermetically sealed that I purchased from a distributorship many years ago that is no longer in business. I am looking for the manufacturer (U.S. Safety and Engineering Corp.) to return this unit for replacement because it is guaranteed for life. If anyone has knowledge of this company, please advise me of their address or e mail address. I would like to get this unit replaced.

hangugeo112

Many hermetically sealed connectors are necessary to a working network of wires and machinery which needs to be protected from environmental factors in the long run. Without these kinds of connections, system malfunctions could occur on a large systemic scale, resulting in accidents and major problems in production.

GigaGold

RF connectors are designed to hermetically connect wires via a screw-in process, which takes longer but is more protective than some of the standard pop-out connectors. RF connectors are quite helpful in industrial machinery working in a hot, wet, or humid, work environment.

Renegade

The term "hermetic" derives from the Greek god Hermes, who was said to be the father of Alchemy and Astrology. This was connected with smithing via the old medieval cultic practice of alchemy.

MrPolitic99

Double pane glass windows really do make a difference in the climate control of a house. I never realized how many products and devices exist in our world that need to be sealed.

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