From large turbines to small rotary tools, industrial seals find their application in machines of all sizes and shapes. They help hold pressure, prevent leakages, and prevent contamination at the interfaces between the components of a machine. Catering to excellent efficiency and productivity, industrial seals have been of great importance in the manufacturing sector for the past few decades. The industrial seal market is in its prime, owing to the rapidly growing industrialization, with strong bases in developing countries. As the development of the manufacturing sector is gaining pace all over the world, the demand for industrial seals is on the rise.
Static Seals and Dynamic Seals
The type of seal to be used in a machine is determined based on the surfaces of the machine that are in contact. Based on this, there are two broad categories of seals.
- Static Seals – Static seals are used when there is no relative motion between the surfaces in contact.
- Dynamic Seals – Dynamic seals are used when there is motion between the surfaces in contact.
Different Types of Industrial Seals and Their Importance
Here are 5 types of industrial seals and their importance.
- Hydraulic Seals
Hydraulic seals are very important as far as fluid power engineering is concerned. They are soft, non-metallic rings that assist a machine in the conversion of fluid power into linear motion. It prevents the fluid from reciprocating the motion of the machine components. It is made from materials such as rubber, polyurethane, or PTFE. The material to be used in the manufacturing of a seal is determined based on the machine’s operations, temperature, fluid type, the chemical compatibility of the fluid with the seal material and so on. While a static hydraulic seal is always located in a groove and has no movement to deal with, a dynamic hydraulic seal is exposed to the movement of surfaces that are in contact.
- Pneumatic Seals
Made from advanced materials, these industrial seals help contain compressed forms of gas and air. It requires advanced materials because they are prone to high friction, temperature and pressure. They are mostly used to reciprocate rotary motion and support high operating speeds. They require very less lubrication to create a vacuum when exposed to air. Space research is one of the most prominent fields in which these seals find their application. They are also widely used in the oil and refinery sectors.
- Rotary Shaft Seals
Used between the rotating and non-rotating components of rotary shaft equipment, rotary shaft seals are used to protect the bearings of rotary shafts. They are used to keep away dust, dirt, and other unwanted particles from the equipment. These seals have a cylindrical outer covering made of steel or elastomer and a lip seal that helps to keep the dirt out. To achieve the perfect sealing effect, the internal diameter of the seal lip is made slightly smaller than that of the shaft. These seals are always favored in terms of cost-effectiveness and performance.
- Metal Seals
A typical elastomeric ring, though economical and easy to install, may not always be the best option to use. This is where metal seals come in. Unlike other seals, the metal seals do not deteriorate. Designed to withstand high temperature and pressure, they do not even wear off when exposed to extremely corrosive chemicals or radiation. They are made of high-quality nickel alloys or stainless steel.
The most common types of metal seals used in the manufacturing sector are the following:
- The C-Ring – This is the most popular of all designs and gives an optimum combination of springback and leak tightness. They help tackle issues that spring from the wear and tear caused by heat.
- The E-Ring – This seal is known for its wear resistance, springback, and elasticity features.
- The Metal O-Ring – These seals are used in intense operations and withstand high temperature, pressure, and radiation.
- Spring Energized Seal
Spring energized seals offer extremely reliable sealing solutions, and are made from engineered plastic and high-quality fluoroplastic compounds. These are used when operating limits of a machine go beyond the capacities of elastomeric and polyurethane seals. It makes use of spring to offer a consistent load and to create a leak-tight sealing effect. These seals find their application in a wide variety of industries such as aerospace, oil and gas, automotive industry, medicine, and so on.
The innovations in the manufacturing industry and the requirement for larger manufacturing units are expected to drive the industrial seal market forward. High-quality industrial seals will always add value to one’s production process by prolonging the life of machines and optimizing their functions.
CinchSeal is a manufacturer of rotary shaft seals and has been at the forefront of providing smart industrial sealing solutions since 1994. It’s premium sealing technology caters to various processes and OEM industries such as petroleum and refining, paint pigment, waste water treatment, and so on.