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Seal selection: SKF Spectraseal

Selecting the right Spectraseal for the task at hand

There is no typical sealing application. In fact, challenges can take many, many forms; each one different from the last and completely unique to an operator’s situation. It is for that reason that industrial seals themselves come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials.

Choose wisely, choose once

Rushing the process of selecting a seal for your application can have damning consequences for productivity and can even endanger workforces. Best then, to take the time to choose wisely. To that end, the Industrial Seals Expert provided comprehensive selection guides, through which we sought to alleviate the effort of matching the condition to the solution. Now, we revive our selection guide series to highlight the factors that SKF customers should be aware of when choosing a seal for extreme applicational challenges. But first, we need to determine what exactly an extreme application is!

It’s important to remember that “extreme” can mean a number of things: it can refer to low/high temperatures, high-contamination environments, aggressive or abrasive media, high pressure against velocity rates, high pressure, or even regulatory challenges.

What are SKF Spectraseals?

SKF Spectraseals are a popular alternative when one or more of the factors mentioned above block the use of conventional sealing solutions. The combination of engineered high-performance plastic materials, and a fit-for-purpose product engineering capability at SKF make it possible to seal correctly even in the harshest static and dynamic applications.


When to use a SKF Spectraseal

SKF Spectraseals are generally deployed in a range of equipment from the oil and gas, medical and healthcare, and the food and beverage industries. A few examples of some typical solutions applied in these industries can be found below. More detailed operational capabilities and limitations can be found in SKF’s Spectraseals brochure:


Oil and gas
High-pressure seals for chemical injection pumps
Spring-energized seals for ball and plug valves
Spring-energized seals for gate valves
Spring-energized seals for joints in turbo compressors


Medical and healthcare
Spring-energized seals for wearable insulin pumps
Low-friction spring energized seals for rotary surgical tools
Wobble piston compressor seals for oxygen concentrators


Food and beverage
Spring-energized sealing materials for food filling equipment
A rod packing assembly for sealing homogenizers
Spectraseals and bushings for rotating applications in cleaning equipment


Other general industrial applications
Seals for paint, resin, and adhesive pumping and spraying
Piston and rod seals for contractor nail guns
PTFE lip seals are used in high-speed blowers and other applications where the velocity is too great for the dynamic sealing contact area, or where non-lubricated sealing is required
IM seals for logging equipment and other similar low velocity rotary or oscillatory sealing applications.


Creating the most suitable solution

Engineers collaborate iteratively with customers to define which materials and profile design to implement. Following this, initial seal prototypes are trialed and, if necessary, amendments to seal and/or hardware design are carried out. SKF uses Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology to machine a seal prototype in a timely manner – in around two weeks or less, and there is no need for tooling or additional setup fees. This prototype should then be tested in the customer’s actual arrangement to ensure total compatibility.

Once all seal requirements are met and seal production begins, SKF seal engineers continue to support implementation and continuous improvement as may be required by changes in applications. This deep know-how and knowledge base supports is a part of SKF’s service and its customers benefit from unmatched understanding of bearing-seal interaction.

Still unsure about whether or not your application requires the use of an SKF Spectraseal? As always, get in touch with Industrial Seals Expert with your query and we will be sure to get in touch.