A hydraulic seal is a type of ring that is generally made of plastic or silicone. Hydraulic seals are designed to fit into tight crevices and can be found in different types of machinery. Their primary purpose is to block any fluids from leaking out.

Types of Seals

There are two primary types of seals: dynamic and static. Dynamic seals are made to fit between two moving parts and static seals are made to fit in between two parts that remain still. Although the serve two different purposes, both can experience similar malfunctions. Below are some of the most common seal malfunctions.

Common Hydraulic Seal Malfunctions

  • Fracturing: A fracture can occur because of excessive backpressure or high-pressure shocks. Fracturing can also sometimes occur when low quality materials are used in a piece of machinery.
  • Hardening: Hydraulic seals can become hard if they’re exposed to extreme heat. If seals become too hard they can crack more easily and may not be able to keep fluids from leaking through.
  • Incorrect Installation: Malfunctions can also occur due to improper or incorrect installation, which is a somewhat typical occurrence. If not installed properly seals may not cover the entire area they’re supposed to cover. This can lead to leaks, ill-fitting parts and machinery getting too hot to operate safely. It’s best to always take your time and ensure that seals are installed properly and carefully observe them the first time you turn on the equipment they’re located on. 
  • Wrong Size: Having the wrong size seal is a more common issue then you might think. Seals are designed to fit into crevices with exact precision so having the wrong size could have a negative impact.
  • Wear and Tear: Because hydraulic seals are made of plastic or silicone they will not last forever. Eventually they can wear down and begin to tear or break. If this happens it’s important to replace them as soon as possible.

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