Lip Seals - A Practical Guide

Anyone in the servicing industry who has fixed a pump or gearbox knows that the lip seal is the one part that often appears to get replaced after a reconstruction. It is usually affected during extraction or disassembly. Perhaps the lip seal is the leakage source that caused the piece of equipment to be removed from service. Whatever the case could be, lip seals are essential system parts. They keep oil and grease in a while, keeping chemicals out. Lip seals seem to be on nearly any plant equipment piece, so why not learn how to pick and mount them properly?

Purpose of Lip Seals

A lip seal's primary function is to keep toxins out while keeping lubricants in. Lip seals work by maintaining contact between two surfaces. They can be used in a wide range of applications, from slow-moving machinery to high-speed rotation, and in temperatures ranging from below zero to more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Selecting a Lip Seal

The selection process is the first step in keeping working lip seals. When selecting a material, keep the operating temperature, the TTO Oil Seals in use, and the procedure in mind. Nitrile is the most commonly used lip seal substance. This substance performs well in temperatures ranging from 40 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Nitrile lip seals are used in a wide range of industrial applications, from modern devices to replacement seals. They are resistant to petroleum oils, water, and hydraulic oils, but what distinguishes these seals are their low cost.


The lip seal must be adequately mounted after the seal material and construction have been selected. Many items on the market are solely committed to this purpose. Most resemble a socket kit that will squarely fit the seal through its bore. These tools can be helpful if chosen carefully, but most off-the-shelf models aren't, mainly when a shaft is already in place.

Maintaining Lip Seals

Keep your oil clean, cold, and dry to keep your lip seals as safe as possible. Some oil leakage may reach the touch patch and deteriorate the shaft and elastomer. Lip seals should be kept as sterile as possible as well. Painting over a seal or collecting soil around it will produce unnecessary heat and easily damage the elastomer.

Lip Seal Construction

Following the selection of the seal material, the next step is to consider the seal's construction. A plain lip seal used to be a leather brace on a tire axle. Lip seals today are made up of several components that all contribute to how well the seal works. There are different contacting patterns available, as well as non-spring and spring-loaded seals. A non-spring seal is typically less costly and can hold dense materials such as grease at low shaft speeds. Conveyors, car wheels, and greased parts are examples of typical applications. Spring-loaded seals are commonly used on a wide variety of machinery and are usually used for oils.

How to Inspect a Lip Seal

Deteriorated or broken elastomer is one of the things to watch for when examining TTO oil seals. This is an indicator that there is a problem with heat. Often, make sure the lip seal is still in place. I've seen a few pumps with the incorrect seal installed. The friction and rotation during startup caused the seal to come out of the bore and rotate on the shaft.

Any oil leakage outside the seal should be seen as a red flag and should be investigated further. Leakage, clogged breathers, and broken bearings that enable radial motion can all be caused by worn seals.

Remember, to keep the lip seals in proper working order; you must keep the sump clean. Cover all seals before painting, hold the oil at the proper volume, ensure oil coolers are working properly, and choose the appropriate national oil seal design and material. You will give your lip seals and machinery a fighting chance of survival if you are vigilant in your approach to rebuilding and installing equipment.


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