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Oil Seal failures : Causes And Effective Preventive Measures

Oil Seal failures : Causes And Effective Preventive Measures


Oil seals are very important components of hydraulic and pneumatic systems, such as agricultural vehicles, construction equipment, and forestry machinery. They are basically made of a variety of soft, non-metallic materials and used to prevent leakage of oil. Specifically, they are responsible for maintaining fluid pressure and mitigating contamination within the hydraulic and pneumatic systems. They also play a big role in mitigating wear and tear as a result of friction, thereby increasing the efficiency and lifespan of the systems. You can always find oil seals on the cylinder head, in the piston or on the rod shaft.

There are many oil seal manufacturers out there that make a wide variety of oil seals. So there is no shortage of supply if you’re looking for one. But the truth is that all oil seals will ultimately wear out. Some will last for many years. Others will fail prematurely. That said, here is a rundown of the main causes of oil seal failures and what you can do to prevent them:

 DMS Seal Manufacturer-Oil Seal Failures : Causes And Effective Preventive Measures

1.Mis-installation of oil seals

Most oil seal manufacturers agree that mis-installation is the key cause of oil seal failure today. Mis-installation may be as a result of deploying unskilled personnel to install oil seals. Unskilled personnel can unknowingly install oil seals in the wrong direction causing serious problems to the hydraulic and pneumatic system. It’s essential that oil seal installers have the required experience and expertise to install oil seals. If they don’t, they should be trained before they can start installing oil seals.

Also, using the wrong tools is another cause of mis-installation of oil seals. Using the wrong tools will result in oil seals being installed in the wrong direction. Worse still, the wrong tools could damage the oil seals during installation. Make sure to use the right tools when installing oil seals.

Additionally, choose oil seals made of high-quality material. Oil seal manufacturers use inferior materials to make oil seals in order to increase profitability. This means they will get damaged easily and result in unexpected leakage.


2.Oil seal failures occur due to wear and tear

Manufacturers know that oil seals wear over time because it’s a natural and unavoidable occurrence. When the oil seals age, they begin to pull away from their mating surface. This effect creates a lot of space in-between the shaft and the oil seal. This phenomenon allows oil to escape. But you can do something to delay wear and tear of oil seals by realizing what causes it. The major cause of oil seal wear and tear is contamination. Contamination may come from within the hydraulic or pneumatic system by moving pumps and gears. It may also come from outside the system. You can prevent contamination by utilizing a mix of special seals. Also, choose the right hydraulic fluids when installing your oil seals. Some hydraulic fluids can keep contamination at bay. Therefore, if you discover that your oil seal is wearing out quickly, it’s a good idea to change the hydraulic fluid.

Also, choose high-quality bearings when installing oil seals. High-quality bearings cannot deform under heavy loads and this reduces metal-to-metal contact, which commonly introduces particles that cause contamination.


3.Improper maintenance of oil seals

Any component of a hydraulic or pneumatic system must be maintained often to work optimally. And this also applies to oil seals. In fact, oil seal manufacturers strongly suggest frequent maintenance to maintain the efficiency of the system and to increase the lifespan of oil seals. Some people allow the system’s engine to run consistently with a low-oil level. This makes the oil seal too hot causing it to dry out. The result is warping and leaking. The same will happen if you drive an automobile with an overheated engine. Also, adding excess oil can cause an oil seal to blow out. The solution is to always mount seals flush in the recess designed for it during installation to prevent it from gathering dust and dirt.


4.Chemical incompatibility

Chemical incompatibility is rapidly becoming a common cause of oil seal failure, especially in this day and age where people are increasingly looking to cut costs. People want to use environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and fire-resistant oils and that’s why they are tempted to change the oils. While this is good for the environment, using oils that are not compatible with the oil seal can cause the seal to rust or disintegrate, resulting in leakage. It’s a good idea to stick to oils that are compatible with your oil seals.


5.Drivetrain glitches

Drive axles and driveshafts can get damaged, become loose or bent and cause an oil seal to fail. When drive axles and driveshafts become loose, bent or get damaged, uneven shaft wear and too much vibration occur. It is essential that your drivetrain is checked and maintained frequently to ensure optimal functioning.


6.Compression set can cause oil seals to fail

Sometimes oil seals leak at low pressure. This is an indication that the oil seals are losing their elasticity. Polymer and rubber oil seals tend to lose elasticity easily. To prevent this from happening, consider ramping up maintenance of the oil seal. You can also consider replacing the oil seal or choosing a material that is resistant to compression set.

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