Hydraulic seals are a key part of a well functioning piece of equipment. A seal exists to keep fluid from leaking. When seals fail it can cause big problems, costly repairs and production downtime. The best way to avoid failure of hydraulic shaft seals is to make sure they are installed correctly. In addition to improper installation, here are 3 common reasons hydraulic seals can fail.
1) Temperature Issues: When the fluid temperature rises to extremely high levels it can damage the seal and create a prime opportunity for failure and leaks. Additionally, if the temperature is too low the seal can also deteriorate. When a seal is exposed to the incorrect temperature for extended periods of time it can harden, lose elasticity and crack resulting in equipment failure.
2) Wear and Tear: Excessive wear and tear can be a result of incorrect installation. When the installer uses the wrong tools to install the seal or places the seal improperly it can cause damage to the seal or cause it to wear unevenly. Wearing can also occur when there is a lack of lubrication. This is why preventative maintenance is so crucial to system performance.
3) Chemicals: When a cylinder seal comes in contact with harsh chemicals that are incompatible with the seal material, the seal can fail and leaks can occur. It is important to check with the seal manufacturers for compatibility before selecting hydraulic seals that will be exposed to strong chemicals. Being clear about your expectations will help the manufacturers identify the right product for your specific needs.
Hydraulic seals may be small but their purpose is hugely important. If you can’t find a standard seal that fit your needs, many manufacturers will create custom seals for you.
When a seal is installed properly, well maintained and exposed to the right fluid it can prevent leaks and failures that can otherwise cause big, expensive problems.