Importance of Education Understanding how a radial shaft seal performs in an application creates an invaluable awareness of the entire sealing system. Knowing what physical principals are at work, a design engineer is more likely to be thinking about seal selection earlier in the design process.
The life cycle of mobile machinery can be limited by the effectiveness of the radial shaft seal. When failure occurs, the seals are believed to be at fault. But in fact, the root cause of failure is usually unknown and lies buried in the network of sealing parameters. Not understanding these parameters can be detrimental to the life of the seal. If the design engineer does not know how shaft preparation affects the sealing mechanism, then lead is more likely to occur. By understanding how different parameters affect the sealing mechanism, the correct profile is more likely to be selected and the system variables controlled.
Engineered Seal Products understands the importance of education and recognizes the need in our market for a technical presence. The intentions of this handbook are to provide a resource for engineers that organizes the industry standards for radial shaft seals. In the design process, engineers may not have time to research all of the operation details of each part. Often seal selection is compromised and the chance of failure increases. This handbook will reduce the research time without losing education.
Radial shaft seals are designed and selected based on profile characteristics. Before getting into the selection process it is important to get to know a typical cross-section. The sections listed below are the first step in the education process:
- Profile Terminology
- The Hydrodynamic Effect
- Dynamic Sealing Mechanism
Understanding fluid mechanics and terminology provides invaluable insight into why given design parameters can affect the life and efficiency of a radial shaft seal. The remaining sections of this chapter build on these concepts. These sections will provide information to select the correct profile, design a system that optimizes life and is cost effective.