Test service enhances Bal Seal offering for low-friction seals

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:
Gimbal seal friction and leak testing

A test service introduced by Bal Seal Engineering is claimed to offer verified performance results for Bal Seal low-friction spring-energised seals used in rotary/face applications. According to the company, the service will help OEMs and tier suppliers eliminate unnecessary costs, delays and complications associated with in-house or outsourced seal testing.

Rotary/face seals are frequently used in dynamic housings and mounts to protect electronics and other internal components from environmental contaminants that can compromise performance. To minimise stick-slip and meet motor torque requirements, these seals must exhibit very low friction – but they must also minimise leakage over long periods of exposure.

"It's a balancing act," said David Fogel, director of business development for Bal Seal Engineering. "This kind of sealing requires the right mix of friction, leak rate, and service life. Our new test service gives customers the confidence of knowing that a seal will meet their requirements upon delivery."

Bal Seal Engineering's seal test equipment measures friction and leak rate using customer-defined hardware tolerances and operating conditions, including pressure and speed. Fixtures can accommodate seals with an outside diameter up to 22'', and can be modified for larger seal dimensions. The fixtures can produce a range of pressures and exert specific frictional forces to simulate a seal's performance under real-world conditions.

Bal Seal Engineering says the test service is designed to evaluate the performance of its low-friction spring-energised seals. These seals, which are machined from polymer-filled PTFE materials, exhibit an extremely low dynamic coefficient of friction. The seals minimise 'stiction' to facilitate smooth rotation and bi-directional motion, and they can be used against a range of material hardnesses/finishes.


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