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The Beginner’s Guide to Spring-Energized Seals

  • April 9, 2021
Spring-energized seals by Monroe Engineering

Sealing applications require the use of strong and durable seals. When exposed to hot and pressurized liquids, seals can fail. The failure of a seal will then allow the otherwise contained liquid to leak out. There are many different types of seals, however, one of which is spring energized. Spring-energized seals are strong and durable, but they are distinguished from other types of seals by their use of springs.

What Are Spring-Energized Seals?

Spring-energized seals are o-ring seals that contain a spring. They work like other types of o-ring seals by providing a leak-proof mating surface between two parts. Pipes, for instance, are often joined with an o-ring seal. The presence of an o-ring seal prevents pipes from leaking where they are joined with other pipes or parts. Spring-energized seals serve this same purpose, but they are designed with small springs.

Benefits of Spring-Energized Seals

Being that they serve the same purpose as traditional o-ring seals, you might be wondering what benefits spring-energized seals offer. For starters, they provide a higher level of protection against leaks than traditional o-ring seals. The spring within a spring-energized seal will act against the pressure to which they are exposed. Seals are typically exposed to pressure in the form of pressurized liquid. Over time, constant exposure to this pressure can cause o-ring seals to fail. Spring-energized seals are more resistant to pressure because of their spring.

Spring-energized seals also apply to a consistent force around the parts with which they are used. They feature a single spring that wraps around the circumference of the spring-energized seal. After being installed, the spring will happy a consistent force around the joined parts.

Another benefit of spring-energized seals is a long lifespan. They typically last longer than traditional o-ring seals. Traditional o-ring seals can fail prematurely. This is particularly true in cases where an o-ring seal is exposed to high-heat, high-pressure liquid. And when an o-ring seal fails, it can cause other problems, such as machinery damage. Spring-energized seals don’t suffer from premature failure. They can withstand high-heat, high-pressure liquid, so they tend to last for a very long time or even indefinitely.

Spring-energized seals can withstand both cold and hot temperatures. While their specifications vary, some of them are rated for temperatures as low as minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

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