One of the most common problems with hydraulic systems and pumping equipment is fluid leakage. In most cases, this problem arises from poorly installed and maintained seals or incorrect seal selection. But it's easier to avoid these issues by understanding the concept behind excellent seal selection. Redefining the hydraulic seal selection process is of paramount importance. Continue reading to learn how to choose hydraulic seals for your applications.
It's essential to begin by cleaning seal faces before powering up the hydraulic equipment. This process helps prevent premature hydraulic system failures. Upon contact with air, some hydraulic fluids can cause abrasion. It is thus essential to establish a buffer zone between the atmosphere and the seal faces.
At certain temperature levels, some fluids begin forming abrasives. In this case, appropriate heating or cooling is necessary to dissolve the abrasive elements adjacent to seal faces. It is crucial to use centrifugal separators or double seals in locations where sealed fluids are likely to develop contamination.
The temperature element has a direct impact on any hydraulic sealing material. But this effect is more severe on secondary seals. Sometimes, piston rings and metal bellows perform at their best. But it's crucial to lubricate seal interfaces to reduce overheating. Another way to resolve thermal problems is through direct cooling using a cooling chamber.
Compatibility between the sealed fluid and seal face materials is paramount. An element such as graphite has excellent thermal and mechanical characteristics, and this makes it a perfect sealant. Other useful materials include bronze, stainless steel, chrome-plated metals, iron and ceramic.
Generally, ceramic is among the hardest face materials on the market. It has superior anti-corrosion and anti-wear properties. However, ceramic has weak tensile strength and can easily crack under immense thermal shock.
Several elements directly impact wear resistance, including abrasiveness, temperature and chemical composition. Hence, to minimize wear, it's imperative to use proper lubricants, and this applies explicitly to seal heads and seal materials. Also, there is a need to ensure that the seal materials are corrosion resistant.
A hydraulic system can fail prematurely if the face materials run dry. It's thus vital to use double seals to alleviate such a risk. Most importantly, use seals with isolated fluid circulation.
When choosing the perfect hydraulic seals for your application, consider the four factors discussed above. From abrasion and temperature to face material and wear resistance, these aspects are crucial in guiding your selection process.