In the world of mechanical engineering, seals feature predominantly. They are important devices because they function to prevent or limit any form of leakage of fluids. Furthermore, they have a crucial role when it comes to system performance seals are very common in applications that have components that do not have movements that are significantly different from each other. They are also used in applications where there is a significant movement resulting from rotation or reciprocation.
The primary purpose of these seals is to reduce, prevent or limit any potential flow that may arise between components of a machine. They serve in locations where machine designs have pressurized fluids that need containment within defined areas such as hydraulic cylinders.
Whether you are thinking about the oil seal or the mechanical seal, one thing that should come to mind is that they serve a rather similar role. Mechanical and oil seals prevent fluids that have a tendency of seeping to other parts of the machine that keeps the machine components properly lubricated. These seals are very popular when it comes to various mechanical engineering applications. The question that lingers is do they have any differences? To be in a better position of understanding the difference between oil seal and mechanical seal we are going to look at features that make each one of them distinct from the other.
Oils seals are also known as rubber oil seals, dirt seals or oil gaskets. These are devices used in preventing leakages associated with lubrication of oil in mechanical components or equipment. They function by closing spaces that exist between moving and stationary components. Furthermore, these seals are useful in precision bearings and they help in maintaining lubricants, which prevents corrosive moisture that may seep into the bearings.
Oil seals exist in various shapes and sizes. This depends on the nature and capacity of particular equipment in use. The seals have been manufactured in such a way that they fit into different types of valves, pipes or other openings that might allow leakage of lubrication of oils. The difference between oil seal and mechanical seal is that they are useful in two main functions, that is, they help to hold the oil in place. In addition, they facilitate the lubrication of machine moving parts thus ensuring that no lubricant leaks. Dirt and harmful contaminants at times leak into various parts of mechanical equipment. For this reason, engineers use oil seals to ensure that these harmful contaminants do not get into the equipment.
Regarding the mechanical seal, the basic description of it is that it’s a method used to contain fluid within a mechanical vessel, for example in pumps and mixers. Essentially, the pumps and mixers among other equipment of this nature consist of a system that comprises of a rotating shaft that passes through various stationary housing. In some cases, the housing rotates around the shaft.
The difference between oil seal and mechanical seal is that they are very useful when it comes to sealing rotating equipment. Engineers use them in sealing the process side of different equipment like agitator and pump. Mechanical seals come with a certain degree of variations. For instance, we have double seals and single seals. All these variations depend on the applications one may choose to use. A good example for water and other liquids that require low-pressure applications the single seal is the one that is commonly used. On the other hand, engineers use double seals in cases where there is slurry media, hazardous media, and even high-pressure applications.
When it comes to design the difference between the oil seal and the mechanical seal is that mechanical seals have three sealing points. Engineers fit the stationary part of the seal to the pump’s housing using a static seal. While they use the use an O ring to seal the rotary portion to the shaft. This makes the mechanical seal itself be the existing interface between the static and rotary portions respectively. When mounting, one part of the seal maintains a resilient stance. This can be either static or the rotary portion to facilitate movement and accommodate any tiny shaft deflections that may arise.
The fluid film is another major aspect that presents the difference between oil seal and mechanical seal. Essentially, most of the mechanical seals require a certain level of lubrication. The necessity of having lubrication is made possible by the presence of a thin film of fluid between the seal faces. The source of the film comes either from an external source or from the pumped process fluid. Even though this tends to work, one of the key challenges associated with this arrangement often arises. This challenge revolves around how to allow sufficient lubricant to flow without having the unacceptable or risky amount of process fluid or contaminants leaking. Nevertheless, engineers agree that it is possible to curb this challenge by ensuring that there is a precise gap between the faces. The gap must be large enough to allow adequate amounts of lubricants and at the same time, small enough to restrict any amount of contaminants from entering the seal faces.
There are differences between oil seal and mechanical seal in its usefulness. Oil seals play a critical role in preventing seeping in of contaminants that are potentially hazardous getting into the machine. They are safeguard mixing of two liquids, for example, water and oil. Oil seals are sturdy and long lasting due to their sturdy nature. They have low rates of wear and tear promotes system durability. On the other hand, machine seals are useful in that they reduce bearing contamination because they ensure that the lubricant does not get affected by any potential seal leakages. Their inboard springs reduce the need for day-to-day maintenance requirements. They also reduce rates of corrosion that face plant equipment especially the product is contained in a pump. Lastly, they are friendly to the environment since they play a role in cutting down waste product as well as reducing the need for necessary cleanups.
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