The most commonly asked question from those first encountering seals is “where are seals used?” Seals are used for a variety of industries and applications. The main purpose of an industrial seal is to seal the opening between a static and rotating component. It is vital to use high performance seals for improving the efficiency of equipment. It can save companies major money and energy costs under the event of a potential breakdown. The following are 10 top industries which use hydraulic, pneumatic seals or a combination of both.
1. AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY – FARM EQUIPMENT To meet the high demands of the harvest season, it is essential for agricultural machines to perform with optimum efficiency. What’s more is these machines face daily UV exposure, fluctuating weather conditions and frequent contamination from the surroundings. So in repairing and maintaining farm equipment, the use of high performance seals play an important role in productivity and lowering expenses. Farm implements use single acting hydraulic seals on harvesting, threshing, baling, drainage and on crop harvesting machinery. Super polymers like Oz Red Super Polymer (ORSP), Oz Monyt and Wifflon are the preferred materials for these applications due to their superior lubrication properties and durability.
2. AMUSEMENT MACHINES Coney Island in New York contributes $58 million into the Brooklyn economy each year and on average had 15 million visitors last year. That’s 41,000 visitors a day. Imagine how much would be lost if an amusement ride broke down for a day. When the seal fails in the ride’s brake system, it can leak brake fluid all over the scenery, shutting down the ride for repairs. Dreamworld on the Gold Coast has seen repair jobs carried out at some of the least desirable times. Fair ground rides that use specially designed and manufactured equipment benefit greatly from using low friction seals and wipers in rubber, polyurethane or TMCF seals and wipers in control valves.
3. AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS Almost every vehicle assembly department uses pneumatic rams on assembly jigs. Engineers prefer pneumatics as they are quieter and cleaner, which can prevent any leakage from contaminating its surroundings. Sound absorbing materials such as polyurethane and rubber are effective in achieving significant compressed air savings.
4. CHEESE MANUFACTURERS Pneumatic seals, spring energized seals, wipers and guide rings are used on manufacturing and packaging machines in the cheese industry. For these machines it is recommended to use high pressure nitrile rubber (HNBR), teflon or wifflon materials.
5. COAL MINING EQUIPMENT Hydraulics are used extensively in underground mining machinery, while pneumatics are used on roof support machinery. Essential to the mining industry is safety and the use of high performance parts to provide extraordinary service life so that downtime and maintenance is kept to a minimum. High pressure materials such as HNBR and Oz Monyt provide superior performance for seals and wipers.
6. CONCRETE PUMPING Concrete pump designers face many challenges because concrete is heavy, viscous, abrasive, contains pieces of hard rock and solidifies if not kept moving. One of the causes of dangerous blockages can be attributed to improper setting up of the pump system, and requires specialised sealing and proper guide element replacement when the seals are replaced. Special designs by Oz Seals are suitable for the hydraulic rams used to operate the concrete pumping plungers and hydraulic rams on the boom.
7. DIECASTERS Die casting involves forcing molten metal under high pressure into a mold cavity. There are two types of equipment used in die casting: hot-chamber die casting and cold-chamber die casting. To withstand extreme temperatures HNBR and Viton materials are preferred for pneumatics on tamping and furnace rams. Hydraulic or mechanical pistons may come into contact with fireproof fluids, so polymer compatibility should be checked for possible HFA/FHB fluid compatibility.
8. EARTH-MOVERS & EXCAVATORS High performance oil seals and hydraulic seal kits are required for heavy earthmoving, excavators, dozers and backhoe loaders. The mining and construction industry is the heaviest user of high performance seals and reliable Oz wipers.
9. PRINTERS The demands of the fast-paced publishing industry benefits immensely from machine parts manufactured with high performance polyurethanes and rubber materials to allow for greater speeds and higher productivity. Printing presses and packaging machines use pneumatics including Teflon seals with spring energizers.
10. TEXTILE MANUFACTURERS Shaft seals, mechanical seals and spring energized Teflon seals are commonly used pneumatics on textile machinery. To cope with compact spinning, high pressures and constant rotation of the air rams, a super seal in a high performance polymer such as ORSP or Wifflon is ideal.
These are just 10 out of numerous applications and industries in which seals are used. What’s your industry? And which application would you most like to learn about? Tell us in the comments below or for specific enquiries on how Oz Seals can provide custom solutions for your sealing problems, contact