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Tech Tip: Optimize your seal efficiency

Pinpointing problems and taking quick and appropriate remedial action optimizes seal performance and seal life.


May 13, 2011
Kathy Smith

Pinpointing problems and taking quick and appropriate remedial
action optimizes seal performance and seal life. Extend the life
of any type of seal by checking these conditions:

• Seal wear

• Proper storage in 40% to 70% humidity area

• Intact packaging

• Correct installation tools used

• Installation area clean and free of grit

• Correct seal for the required speed

• Operating temperature against lip material specifications

• Compatibility of lubricant with seal lip material

• Shaft hardened to Rockwell C 30 or harder

• Range of tolerance of shaft diameter

• Shaft-to-bore misalignment; must be within 0.25 mm

• Dynamic run-out; must be within 0.25 mm

Vent equipment to the atmosphere to prevent pressure
build-up. In case of high-seal wear, look for the possible
cause to come up with the right remedy. Inspect the seal before
it’s removed; wipe the area clean; rotate the shaft to assess
misalignment; check seal type and materials; and look for
excessive lip wear.

When the seal is removed, check for rough bore surface, shaft cleanliness, shaft damage, shaft corrosion or discoloration, and flaws or voids in the bore. These will influence seal performance.

Source: Mark Adams, business development manager with SKF US Inc.