What Are the Key Benefits of Oil Seals?

When you are looking to ensure the smooth operations of your lubricated systems, you might be in need of an oil seal. Serving the dual function of trapping lubricants in and keeping dirt out of rolling components, oil seals are important part types in aircraft as well as across a myriad of industries. Depending on your unique needs, oil seals are available in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and configurations. As such, this blog will offer an overview of the many types of oil seals, their functions, and their most common applications.

An oil seal is a metal ring designed to fit around a shaft, a bearing inner ring or another rotary component. Meanwhile, the outer circumference of the seal is situated within a housing, so as not to interfere with the relative motion of the two surfaces. A typical oil seal design consists of three parts: an outer ring, a sealing element, and a spring. The seal’s exterior metal ring is strong and rigid to provide structure and support within the housing. Meanwhile, the inner O-ring is the sealing element used to prevent fluid leaks and contamination between the shaft and the housing. Lastly the spring ensures the constant pressure that deforms the O-ring, creating a reliable seal while maintaining radial force on the shaft.

Oil seals are common in mechanical hydraulic systems like those used on aircraft to move and actuate landing gear, flaps, and brakes. They are also commonly used in standard engines, specifically within pistons. As such, oil seals are important aspects of aviation, so understanding the various types available for purchase is good knowledge for any pilot to have. Once you have determined your required dimensions, you should decide between a single-lip and a double-lip design; the main difference between the two is the additional security provided by the double lip.

Moving forward, oil seals are available in a variety of materials, the most common of which include Nitrile Buna-N 70 (NBER), fluoropolymer (FKMs), silicone, and polyacrylate. NBR is the most popular as it is cost efficient, however FKMs and silicone can withstand much higher temperatures. For a balance between quality and cost benefits, you should consider polyacrylate.

While machinery can technically function without oil seals, there are many reasons to never neglect these components for your applications. First, by securely sealing oils, they eliminate the risk of burning or wear and encourage lubrication. Second, they are compact and lightweight meaning they do not contribute to significant changes in your system’s weight, while simultaneously performing well under harsh conditions. With only a few components, oil seals are easy to assemble or take apart and they are widely versatile for various operating environments.

When you are in the market for oil seals, we have you covered with rapid lead times and competitive cost savings on Limitless Purchasing. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we make quality the cornerstone of our operations, so we take extensive measures to guarantee our ever-expanding inventory is of the highest-caliber. Once you have taken the time to explore our listings of new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find part types, submit a completed Request for Quote (RFQ) form for any item(s) you wish. Through our Instant Quote service, our team of dedicated market experts will contact you with a custom quote within 15 minutes or less. As we are equipped to offer expedited shipping for domestic and international customers alike, please include any relevant details in your form like shipping deadlines, desired quantities, and target prices in order to receive a quote best suited for your comparisons. To learn more, contact us at any time via phone or email; we are available around-the-clock, 24/7x365!


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