Fluid power is the term used to describe under-pressure fluids that are used to generate, transmit, or control power. Between hydraulics and pneumatics, the fluid power industry has seen record-breaking innovation over the past twenty years, specifically within the high-growth industry of oil and gas.
The Basics of Fluid Power
All fluid power systems consist of a pump driven by a mover of some kind. This so-called “prime mover” is tasked with converting mechanical energy into fluid energy which is then directed by valves into an actuator. Rotary motion is a critical component of fluid power.
These systems are applicable to dozens of industrial uses. Materials handling, metalwork, injection molding, and even aeronautical uses like landing gears and brakes all benefit from fluid power’s ability to produce high-power in small volume. This method of power control is also ideally-suited to automated processes as well as those that need enhanced precision.
Seals and Fluid Power
Seals are one of the most important components of any fluid power system. Hydraulic pumps, both dynamic and positive-displacement, offer high-pressure capabilities only attainable through precision sealing. The seals used in fluid power are required to offer high sealing performance with minimal friction and wear over time.
A few of the most common fluid power seal types include piston seals, wiper seals, rod seals, and back-up rings, among others. Rod seals are perhaps the most commonly used in fluid power, guarding against leakage during power transmission.
Growing Applications for Seals
Many factors affect the ultimate performance of a seal used for fluid power. Pressure, temperature, and lip geometry are just a few of the issues that play on radial force; seal material, lubrication, and surface roughness all affect the seal’s coefficient of friction. It’s Wyatt Seal’s business to know exactly which seal material is right for your application.
Fluid power’s dominant industries are themselves experiencing growth booms. From aerospace to industrial manufacturing, few industries don’t already benefit from the low-impact, high-output performance of fluid power systems.
As the need for seals in fluid power grows, our team of experienced technicians is called upon more and more to consult as well as support. From advising on the correct lip contact shape for a pneumatic application to custom manufacturing a specialty seal for a high-test fluid system, our team wears a wide variety of hats.
Do you have a need for a custom seal product or questions about the fluid power seals we keep in stock? Reach out to a friendly Wyatt Seal representative today to find out how we can improve your process…and the performance of your equipment.