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Search, select, and seal

Tips for finding the right sealing solution

Considerations about operating temperature, pressure, and speed can make choosing an appropriate sealing solution for your industrial applications tricky. In some cases, it may be necessary to look for support. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you get seal selection right.

The right seal for your application 

When deciding on the right seal for an industrial application, the first step is to gather data on the operating conditions and housing dimensionsInformation on operating temperature, speed, pressure, and type of lubricant is necessary to find a suitable seal. While you may already know the operating parameters and dimensions, choosing a seal design and material is not always as clear. 

Although there are no universal rules, manufacturers offer guidance in the form of seal selection tables. These tables provide details such as recommended temperature ranges and maximum shaft surface speeds. Examining the recommendations can help you find the most suitable seal. For example, for higher operating temperatures, fluoro rubber is better suited than nitrile rubber. 

Simplifying your seal selection process

If you already know the dimensions and operating parameters of your application, but you are not sure which material or design is best for you, SKF offers a tool to support you. SKF Seal Select is a free app that helps you find suitable sealing solutions for specific applications. The app currently provides recommendations for V-ring seals, radial shaft seals, and wear sleeves. In future, the service will be rolled out for additional product lines.  

Strategic sealing decisions 

In some situations, you might wish to source your seals from a new supplier. This may be due to cost considerations or performance issues. Alternatively, switching to another supplier could be a strategic decision: Sourcing all components from a single supplier reduces costs and complexity. To assist this process, SKF offers a unique service called Sealfinder. The system contains 740,000 products from around 80 seal manufacturers. Users simply enter the product they are currently using and Sealfinder provides an equivalent SKF product, including notes on any differing technical features, such as lip materialThis helps simplify the selection process. 

Extreme conditions require customized solutions 

For applications with extreme temperatures or combinations of high speed and pressure, a customized solution may be necessary. In such cases, selection tools are of little help due to the complex combination of parameters. Methods such as finite element analysis (FEA) can assist prototype development, but such tools require a high level of expertise and are therefore only available to experienced application engineers. Find out more about seal simulation in this article.