Industrial seals are exposed to a wide range of challenging operating conditions such as high temperature, speed, pressure, and aggressive chemicals. To handle these and other harsh conditions, it is essential to select the most suitable sealing materials. Several factors impact material selection, including exposure to media, pressure, temperature, and potentially stringent regulatory requirements common in food and beverage or oil and gas applications. Types of sealing materials include:
Rubbers—NBR, FKM, and HNBR are commonly used rubber materials in hydraulic applications. They are extremely flexible and can be stretched and deflected by exerting relatively little force. Many of them deliver excellent resistance to mineral oils, greases, or other media.
Thermoplastic elastomers—These offers advantages typical of both rubber and plastic materials. SKF’s high-performance thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) combine excellent abrasion and wear resistance, low compression set, and high tear strength and outstanding pressure resistance.
PTFE—Engineered to handle extreme conditions, PTFE and its compounds can withstand aggressive chemicals plus high temperatures and pressures. Due to their extremely low coefficients of friction, they can also tolerate dry running conditions.
Plastics—Plastic materials can meet higher temperature, chemical, and mechanical property requirements and can range from engineering plastics to high-performance plastics. Backup rings are typically made of plastics and used to enhance the pressure carrying capability of a rod or piston seal.