The Best Seal For Your Gearbox
The Shaft Seal is the most important component of any Gearbox system. They reduce downtime, assure leak-free operation, and helps improves thermal performance.
The lip seal is an important component of the gearbox system. We will let you in on why it is as you read on.
Why Is The Lip Seal So Important?
A Lip Seal is a bit of rubber holding lubrication in place to lubricate rotating materials. It plays a critical role in gearbox operation. The work of this little bit of rubber is to retain gearbox lubrication and prevent contamination.
Longer lip seal life results in a longer life span of the drive system, reduction in downtime, and lower incidence of a drive failure.
The Single Lip Seal
The standard seal option in many applications and gear drives is the Single Lip. This configuration features a single-sealing lip that faces inboard to keep the lubrication inside the gearbox.
The single lip serves double duty by also keeping contaminants out–a job it’s not well suited for. Dirt and debris will accumulate under the lip seal over time, and the seal will eventually fail. Users often select a single lip solution for the sake of simplicity in light-duty applications.
A single lip with a dust lip consists of two lips used together. The outside lip is designed to keep dirt, contaminants, and debris out, while the inner lip keeps oil in.
The single lip with a dust lip is an improvement over the simple single lip design. The drawback of this configuration is that it blocks lubricant from reaching the outer lip. Over time, contaminants and temperature will breakdown the outer lip causing it to fail. With that failure, comes the accumulation of dirt and debris against the primary (inner) sealing lip. This very fine debris eventually builds up beneath, creating an abrasion, like wet sandpaper. Slowly, the friction grinds into the shaft, creating a leak and ultimately causing seal failure.
Labyrinth Sealing System
A labyrinth seal is a step up in design from the standard single or single seal with a dust lip. They feature a series of small, narrow channels to provide very high levels of resistance to flow. Labyrinth seals come in many variations, but they all feature a series of small, narrow channels to reduce the amount of dirt and debris in contact with the sealing surface. There are also non-contact labyrinth seals, used in high-speed applications to avoid the heat generation that accompanies contact seals, but they provide no sealing ability statically.
Some labyrinth design variations include an integrated lip to seal statically and improve dynamic oil retention. Most gearbox labyrinth seals feature a drain back to prevent oil from building up behind the seal since their dynamic sealing performance is generally inferior to standard lip seals.
The Falk V-Class Magnum Seal System
To keep contaminants out, the Falk V-Class Magnum features the grease-filled cavity outboard of a lip. A small gap between the grease cavity cover plate and the shaft retains the grease and blocks larger contaminants. The grease inside the cavity traps smaller contaminants and prevents them from reaching the lip seal. The grease cavity is fitted with a zerk to allow purging of the cavity with fresh grease should it becomes contaminated. An added benefit of the grease cavity is that it ensures lubrication reaches the outer dust lip to reduce heat generation that can lead to premature failure.
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