4 Factors That Affect Your Choice for Hydraulic Seals

When you notice leakages from your hydraulic system, pumping equipment or sumps, the most likely culprits are hydraulic seals. Maybe they were installed incorrectly, maybe they were poorly maintained or maybe they are the wrong seals. However, by understanding what makes an excellent hydraulic seal, you can avoid these issues. Redefining the selection procedure for hydraulic seals is equally essential. But how do you do this?

The following are factors that affect the selection of hydraulic seals


Temperature indeed affects all types of seal materials. However, the effect is more impactful on secondary seals. Metal bellows and piston rings sometimes work best. Lubrication is crucial for minimising heat production at seal interfaces. You can also resolve thermal problems by using direct cooling through a cooling chamber. 

Wear Resistance

The temperature, abrasiveness and chemical factors directly affect wear resistance. Thus, to reduce wear, the sealed fluid must be a good lubricant, specifically for the seal head and seal materials. Besides, all seal materials should be corrosion-resistant to the sealed fluid. Remember, malfunctioning hydraulic equipment can cause the face material to run dry, hence fail prematurely. To prevent this risk, consider using double seals, especially those with isolated fluid circulation. 


Prevent premature failures by initially cleaning faces before start-up. Additionally, for fluids that cause abrasion upon air contact, provide a buffer zone between seal faces and the atmosphere. Also, for liquids that form abrasives at certain temperature levels, cooling or heating is essential for dissolving the abrasives adjacent to seal faces. Use double seals or centrifugal separators in instances where sealed fluid doesn't allow contamination.

Face Materials

There must be compatibility between face materials and the sealed fluids. Graphite is a useful sealing element due to its unique thermal and mechanical properties. Other features can consist of iron, stainless steel, ceramics, bronze and chrome-plated metals. Ceramic is one of the hardest face materials and has significant wear and anti-corrosion qualities. Unfortunately, it can't withstand tensile stress and is prone to sustaining cracks due to thermal shock. 

These are the four factors that will affect how you'll choose your hydraulic seals. From temperature and wear resistance to abrasion and face materials, these are the main factors to guide your selection process. When looking for reliable seals for your hydraulic system, consider these four factors to find the right ones.  Reach out to hydraulic seal providers to learn more about your options.