Smooth running


Smooth running

Although not necessarily visible, hydraulic systems are everywhere. They are what make lift mechanisms and mechanical arms work. Advanced seals keep these systems performing effectively. Such seals are now enhanced by Trelleborg.

Long life and performance of hydraulic systems depend on a sealing configuration within a rod and piston housing that involves multiple seals. Best practice is to use both a primary and a secondary seal. The primary seal does the job of sealing in lubricant and the secondary seal takes over when needed. Because the lubricant is sealed within the hydraulic system, the secondary sealing element runs under dry conditions. The more effective the primary seal, the drier the running conditions of the secondary seal. This lack of lubrication can lead to wear, reduced seal life and ultimately downtime for an operator. 

This dilemma in terms of optimizing the performance of both the primary and the secondary seal has resulted in the creation of the Trelleborg Lubrication Management System, a new discipline in which Trelleborg is investing a substantial amount of R&D time and resources. Lubrication management involves adjusting the conditions for the individual sealing elements, such that the load on each element is reduced to ensure performance of the primary seal and the extended life of the secondary seal.

It is not enough to know about sealing technology. One also need to know about the operating conditions. For a sealing system, all the elements must work together as a team: the seals, the counter surface, the pressure fluid and the lubrication. The Trelleborg Lubrication Management System uses a thicker oil film under the first sealing element to reduce the load on that seal. The amount of fluid film moving past the primary seal is then controlled, normally by an integrated check valve in the primary seal. This means Trelleborg can achieve the best possible solution despite the many increasing challenges in the world of fluid power. These challenges include an increasing demand in terms of power, performance and efficiency. As hydraulic systems reduce in size and weight, this leads to an increase in pressure as well as higher speeds in hydraulic applications. At some point, all seals reach their physical limits, but through lubrication management the sealing system in these cases can be enhanced.

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