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Our guide to axial seals vs radial seals

Our guide to axial seals vs radial seals

Static seals are categorised as either axial seals or radial seals, depending on the direction in which compression is applied to the O-ring’s cross section. Here, we explain the difference between these seemingly similar but actually quite different types of seals. The difference between radial seals and axial seals boils down to the direction in which compression is applied to the seal cross sections. With radial seals, compression is applied to the outside and inside diameter. Whereas, axial seals have compression applied to the top and bottom of the seal’s cross sections. Let’s take a closer look at their differing properties and functions.

What is a radial seal?

Radial seals are traditionally deployed in bore, piston, cap and plug type applications. They fall into one of two distinct categories: dynamic radial seals or static radial seals. Dynamic radial seals operate in an environment that has a relative reciprocating, rotating or oscillating motion between the mating components. Static radial seals, on the other hand, operate in an environment where there is no relative motion between the mating surfaces being sealed. For that very reason, static seals are considered to be more forgiving than dynamic seals. They can handle larger gaps, rougher surface finishes and higher pressures.

What is an axial seal?

In an axial seal application, the squeeze is on both the top and bottom of the O-ring’s cross section. Axial seals are suitable for use as primary seals or as secondary seals in applications where the primary seals are subjected to excessive solid or fluid contaminants. This type of seal is typically used in face (flange) type applications and tends to be easier to manufacture than static radial seals.

How to choose the right seal?

Here at Martin’s Rubber we are happy to offer our recommendations for the most appropriate type of seal types for your specific application. Contact us today on 023 8022 6330, or email [email protected], for more information about all our rubber manufacturing services and products.

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