Labyrinth seals and clearance seals are minimum-leakage seals that protect machine elements from contamination through a noncontact method. They operate on the principle of positive clearance and do not rub on shafts or housing. Labyrinth seals and clearance seals are often available in aluminum, bronze, steel, or plastic materials like PTFE. They are often used in high-speed and high-temperature applications including in centrifugal compressors and gas turbines.
· reduce friction
· maintain low operating temperatures
· experience little-to-no wear when maintained
· operate at high speeds
· have a long service life
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Clearance seals are often referred to as floating labyrinth seals. The design of clearance seals has precise control over the clearance between the rotating shaft and the inside diameter of the seal ring.
Unlike single lip seals, grooves within labyrinth seals and clearance seals act as individual lips and distribute pressure all across the seal instead of in just one area.
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