The Importance of a Smooth Radial Shaft in Sealing Applications

The Importance of a Smooth Radial Shaft in Sealing Applications

Radial shaft seals (also called oil seals or grease seals) are expected to do many things when they are placed in an application. At the very least, they are called on to keep grease or oil in place so a bearing will operate properly and to act as a first line of defense against contaminants from the external environment entering the bearing. A tough job to say the least! In most applications, additional factors are commonplace that will add to the shaft seal’s already difficult job. High shaft speed, excessive heat or cold, dangerous chemicals, abrasive dust or materials and repeated washdown can all have an impact on a seal’s performance. Let’s not make the job any harder by throwing in a worn shaft!

Even though most shaft seals have what we would consider a soft nitrile rubber or Viton lip, they are often in place for many months or years, rubbing against a shaft that is rotating at a fairly high speed. In addition, if there are abrasive materials present that the seal is trying to exclude, that soft lip will eventually wear a groove in the shaft. Another common problem is the shaft will get nicked or scratched during the installation or removal of bearings, gears or seals, leaving an imperfect surface for the shaft seal lip to contact. Either of these conditions can greatly affect seal performance – leading to premature failure of the bearing that the seal is trying to protect. Grease or oil can leak out and contaminants will sneak in, and the next thing you know – unplanned downtime!

But this situation is easily rectified. Replacing a shaft is usually an expensive and time-consuming proposition. The Dichtomatik/TCM ShaftEze shaft repair sleeve is a simple and inexpensive way to repair any shaft and return it to an 8-30 micro inch finish. In some cases, that is a smoother finish than the original shaft and it is the ideal surface to allow a shaft seal to operate optimally. Offered in sizes up to 8 inches, the sleeves have a precision ground stainless steel surface with a hardness of 95RB and are of the appropriate thickness so that the original size shaft seal can be used.

A ShaftEze thin-wall flange installs in minutes. Packed in a sturdy box to protect the sleeve during shipping, it comes with its own installation tool and an illustrated instruction sheet. The instructions will guide you through cleaning up the worn shaft, selecting the correct size ShaftEze sleeve and the quick and easy installation of the sleeve itself. Photos of each step are provided. With the sleeve in place, the new shaft seal can be mounted and you are back up and running!

Dichtomatik/TCM ShaftEze shaft repair sleeves are available in inch sizes from 0.50″ through 8″ and metric sizes from 12 mm through 200 mm. Contact your local IBT branch for more information on this time and money saving product.

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