If You Have a Leak, Check Your Hydraulic Seals

Every machine is composed of multiple parts working together and keeping a machine running requires ensuring those parts are interacting efficiently. When one piece begins to break down, it can affect the way the entire machine functions. Often, the first signs of a problem include a leak at a joint or other parts, where two sections meet.

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When there is a leak, one of the most common reasons is that you have a defective hydraulic seal. Ignoring the problem can give the seal time to degrade further, which will cause the leak to worsen. Over time, this can affect how well the machine functions and will ultimately cause damage to other components. While replacing the seal means shutting the machine down for maintenance, it’s better than allowing a minor problem to progress and cause additional damage.

There are many kinds of hydraulic seals and it’s likely that your machinery utilizes more than one type. In addition to the high pressure hydraulic shaft seals used to prevent the friction that causes wear and tear between parts, your machine may have piston or rod seals, V-rings, rotary shaft seals, or static seals. In fact, there’s a vast range of seals available and each one is engineered to serve a specific purpose. More sophisticated machines will likely make use of a broader variety of seals.

Additionally, there are single and double-acting seals, which serve completely different functions. The sing-acting seal protects where the fluid, such as lubricant or oil, flows in just one direction. Double-acting seals allow for flow in two directions, which is useful in machines that generate a system of reciprocation.

It’s important to be familiar with the types of seals your machine uses, so you’ll be prepared to replace them correctly. If you’re unsure, you should consult the machine’s owner’s manual. Often, the manual will provide the information needed to replace the seals, including the type of seal, the material it should be made from, and the standard part number. This can help you make sure the correct seals are installed, so your machine will run more efficiently over a longer period of time.