7 Different Types of Seals for Industrial Applications

7 Different Types of Seals for Industrial Applications


From holding pressure to preventing leakages to keeping out contaminates, industrial seals play a crucial role in the performance of your equipment. A seal’s service life and reliability can make all the difference in reducing friction, extending maintenance, and increasing sustainability. That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of seals and the industrial applications they’re most suited for when it comes to selecting the right sealing solution for your operation. In this article, we’ll walk you through seven different types of seals for power transmission, hydraulic, fluid handling, and custom-engineered applications. 

Power Transmission SealPower Transmission Seals

Power transmission seals are most often used for rotary applications that are intended to either seal the openings between a rotating and stationary component or two components in relative motion. The two different types of seals that are most commonly used in power transmission applications are radial shaft seals and axial shaft seals.

Radial Shaft Seals

Designed to protect bearings, keep lubricants in, and improve system reliability, radial shaft seals feature a sealing lip, metal case, and tensioning spring, as well as a dust lip. This seal type can be used for a range of applications from small, high-speed machine tools to large wind turbines. 

Axial Shaft Seals

Axial shaft seals are designed to seal axially against a counterface perpendicular to the shaft or pin and serve as a reliable secondary seal, while tolerating small misalignments. This seal type is best used in highly contaminated environments that are exposed to sand, soil, mud, and water.

Hydraulic Seal Hydraulic Seals

Hydraulic seals are intended to separate or block liquid in reciprocating applications and can be molded or machined for different factors, such as working temperature, cylinder speed and operating pressure, medium, and more. They are used in machinery equipment and two different types of seals that are primarily used in these applications are piston seals and rod seals.

Piston Seals  

Piston seals are typically single-acting seals, but are also available as double-acting seals. They ensure liquid doesn’t pass around the piston by pushing the piston down the cylinder, while allowing an oil film to minimize friction and wear. This seal type is often used in hydraulic presses and agricultural machinery.

Rod Seals

Rod seals serve to guard against outer contaminants by providing a thin lubrication film on the piston rod. Through a sliding motion between the cylinder head and piston rod, rod seals are able to maintain sealing contact. This seal type can be customized for use across a wide array of applications. 

Fluid Handling SealFluid Handling Seals

Fluid handling seals come into direct contact with aggressive fluids and often have to meet some of the most stringent regulatory requirements. They are primarily used in the oil and gas industry and the food and beverage industry, with o-rings and back-ups rings and wiper seals acting as two different types of seals that are most commonly used.

O-Rings and Back-Up Rings

O-rings and back-up rings are frequently used as a static sealing element, as they seal through their own deformation between surfaces. Back-up rings help keep o-ring extrusions from getting into the clearance gap. This seal type is best used in applications that need to withstand temperature extremes and pressure differentials.

Wiper Seals

Wiper seals often pair with other sealing components for a tight fit to prevent contaminants from being transported into the hydraulic system with the reciprocating piston rod. This seal type is commonly used in applications for construction, mining, and agriculture.

Machined SealMachined Seals

For more customized solutions, manufacturers like SKF offer machined seals that can meet the unique needs of virtually any application. With the ability to produce solutions for any dimension or design, SKF’s innovative production system, SKF SEAL JET, provides a fast, flexible alternative to moulded seal production. Through extensive application engineering support and a wide selection of seal profiles and materials, SKF is able to provide on-demand manufacturing that ranges anywhere from a single seal to a low-volume series for fluid power, fluid handling, and power transmission applications. 

Look to SKF for These Different Types of Seals

Different Types of Seals from SKF

With over 100 years of industrial application experience, SKF offers an unmatched understanding of the interaction between bearings, seals, and lubrication, as well as the dynamics of reciprocating systems. That’s why SKF has an industry-leading reputation for providing different types of seals made at the highest quality for virtually any application. SKF seals will help you improve the capability, durability, and performance of your equipment. 

Find Solutions for Different Types of Seals at IBT

IBT Industrial Solutions takes pride in our long history of providing exceptional bearing and sealing solutions for applications spanning all industries. With our deep knowledge and decades of expertise, we’re here to help you find the best parts for your application and environment.

For further guidance on selecting the right seals for your equipment, contact IBT’s Bearing and Power Transmission team today. Or if you know which products you’re looking for visit ShopIBT to purchase seals directly. 


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