Hydraulic systems rely on a series of seals to maintain the pressure in the system and keep the fluid inside. They also keep air from entering, because they close the gap between pipe joints and other connections. Unfortunately, those seals are not infallible. They are vulnerable to wear, deterioration, damage, and general failure. If you've spotted a leak in your hydraulic system and need to replace a seal, it's important to be sure that you get the right one. Here are some tips to help you choose the right seal the first time.
Consider The Temperature and Pressure Rating
If the seal you buy isn't properly rated for the operating temperature and the fluid pressure that your system creates, it's not going to hold. Make sure that you know what the operating temperature requirement is for your equipment and choose a seal that can withstand that temperature. When you consider the pressure in the system, you need to look for a seal rated beyond the maximum pressure you can expect from your machines. That way, you don't have to worry about blowing the seal during a peak pressure instance.
Evaluate The Friction Production
If the seal is going to be placed anywhere involving perpetual motion, you'll need to think about any friction generation that could be happening. Look for a seal that's made from a low-friction material so that you don't risk binding up the system or causing other problems.
Minimize The Risk Of Corrosion
Consider where the seal is going when you choose the material it's fabricated from. After all, if you choose a seal that's made from any type of metal or alloy and you place it against other metal, any conflict between the two can lead to corrosion, which will cause the seal to fail. It can also lead to flaking, which may contaminate the hydraulic fluid. Opt for synthetic or corrosion-resistant seals whenever possible.
Opt For Long-Life Seals
When you're dealing with replacing seals in a hydraulic system, the downtime required to drain the fluid, replace the seal, and refill the system is costly. It disrupts the entire production line. The less frequent the need for this, the better it is for your bottom line. If you're replacing seals, look for ones that are rated as long-life seals or ones that are crafted for wear resistance.
Be Attentive To The Lubrication Requirements
Remember that most hydraulic seals need to be properly lubricated for them to function correctly. Unfortunately, not all lubricants are safe to use on all seals. Make sure that you choose hydraulic seals that are compatible with the type of lubricant you're using so you don't deteriorate the seal by using the wrong lubricant.
Create Proper Shaft Finishes
The shaft finish can directly affect how well the hydraulic seals bond. If the shaft finish isn't polished, have the shaft positioned so that the spiral marks on the shaft turn toward the fluid flow when the hydraulic system is running. That will be more conducive to proper seal performance.
Make Sure The Seal Lines Up Right
If the seal isn't lined up with the bore and shaft correctly, it'll create pressure on one side that will lead to premature wear and failure. If you're investing in new seals, take the time to validate the diameter necessary before you buy. That way, you can be sure that it's lined up correctly and doesn't cause the system to be off balance.
These are a few of the things you need to remember when buying new seals. Work with a local hydraulic seal and system repair shop to make sure that you're getting exactly what you need.