Seal Performance Improvement
There are times when a seal is working, but you would like it to achieve more. Whether you need your seal to withstand higher temperatures, operate at higher pressures, last longer under changing conditions, or to meet different criteria, American High Performance Seals offers Seal Performance Improvement services.
Our engineers understand the industries in which seals are used, and we understand the equipment used in those industries. We take the time to understand what our customers need to achieve so we can create the best seal to meet their goals for their equipment performance.
Underground Mining Loader
An end user was having issues with the lifting arm on mining loaders used in a salt mine. After 200 hours, they would start to see the lift cylinders drift down. The maximum service life they could achieve was 2500 hours. The end user turned to American High Performance Seals for a solution.
After consultation, American High Performance Seals changed the wiper to an environmental excluder, and we redesigned the rod seal to incorporate an ancillary cleaning device. Then, we designed guide rings to eliminate the formation of paste caused by environmental intrusion. All of the seals were made from a highly abrasion-resistant material that is compatible with both high water-based oil and halite. The seals have exceeded the 5000 hours planned service life without degradation in performance of the loaders.
Seals for Machine Tools Operating in Water-Based Coolant
American High Performance Seals was asked to look at the seals for liquid-cooled live tooling for machine tools. The application was essentially a high-speed spindle, where a small portion of the coolant is diverted through an orifice to go past the seal housing to cool the seal area. The diverted coolant then exits via an exhaust.
The current seals would fail as soon as the exhaust started to become restricted due to contaminant buildup. This buildup led to a pressure increase in the tool, and the seals would burn up as the PV exceeded the seal’s limit.
American High Performance Seals used one of our high PV seal designs, which was able to run in a low-lubricity coolant. Testing demonstrated this seal could handle the higher PV when the exhaust was restricted. In use, the seal has been able to operate in this condition for an extended length of time, so the seals are only changed in the planned maintenance period when the tooling is serviced.
Seals for Food Mixer Agitator Shaft
American High Performance Seals was asked to inspect the sealing arrangement for the agitator shaft for a powdered food mixer. The current seals had a very short life, as they were running dry and experiencing excessive wear. Additionally, spills from the mixer would lead to powder getting into the stuffing box from the outside and riding up the shaft to abrade the seal from the non-sealing guide.
American High Performance Seals designed a sealing system that used two different seals – one for sealing in each direction. Both seals were designed to run dry, and the materials used were food-compatible with good wear resistance. In addition to not wearing the shaft, the seals also exhibited low torque, which led to a lower load requirement.
Mixers fitted with our seals are now used all over the world, and seals are only changed during the routine maintenance period.
Seals for Air Box in a Canning Plant
A US-based manufacturer of air boxes sells its product to an end user who used the air box to strip an aluminum can from a punch. The manufacturer had been using a standard graphite-filled PTFE lip seal, which was failing within days. They hired American High Performance Seals to analyze the situation and develop a solution that extended the longevity of the seal.
American High Performance Seals uncovered a number of issues. For example, a long stroke (>26”) at high speed (4.3hz) created a significant amount of heat and friction. Additionally, there was a ½” hole on a section of the rod that passed the seal.
To improve the longevity of the seal, American High Performance Seals produced a specially designed lip seal in our highly wear-resistant Duraloy 4736, which enabled us to extend the seal life from 3-4 days to 3-4 weeks.
Seals for a High-Pressure Ceramic Powder Press
The static seal for a ceramic press would fail almost immediately after any ceramic powder entered the hydraulic oil. The end user tried an O-ring in many different materials, with and without back-up rings, and the failure mode was always the same, occurring very quickly after ceramic powder got into the oil.
American High Performance Seals was asked to develop a solution for this issue. We replaced the O-ring and the back-up with our Octi-Ring design, made from highly abrasion-resistant Duralast 4203. This seal is extremely durable. When the end user receives a filter alert indicating that powder has gotten into the hydraulic fluid, they know they can continue production until the next planned maintenance.