Seals are the crucial components in your final drive. The seals play a great role in preventing hydraulic or gear oil leakage. The seals also act as barriers to prevent foreign contaminants from entering your final drive. They also maintain correct working pressure inside your final drive.
These benefits mean you cannot ignore the importance of seals. In general, the life of face seals lies in the range of four thousand to twelve thousand hours.
Different factors determine how long your face seals are going to last. Proper knowledge and understanding of these factors assist in elongating the face seal’s life.
Introduction to Face Seals
Multiple names exist for face seals. These are known as floating seals, duo-cone seals, main seals, floating face seals, or metal face seals. Whatever the name you assign them, their function remains the same. See the definition of face seal as per the Machine Design author.
“Usually, the sealing interface exists right in the center of stationary and rotational components. This leads to the formation of a perpendicular place to the shaft. The sealing area is usually a ring type where two different components make contact. The material of these components is different. For instance, if one component is ceramic or metal, the other is plastic or graphite. “
When It comes to the final drive or track drive, the face seal lies at the point of contact with the axle and hub. You can refer to these narrow rings, which follow precision lapping or grinding metal phenomena.
Considerations On Installation
The thing for which you need to take extreme care is installation. Because this is the main thing that plays a great role in the success or failure of your face seals. You should follow every single instruction.
If you don’t do so, the scratches or gouges on the fine ground surfaces may result in leakage. It would be best if you were very careful in seal handling. Only take the seals out from their packaging when you are ready for installation.
While carrying out the installation process, ensure the vicinity is clean and free from dirt. If the dirt or dust particle sticks to the seal while installing, it may also lead to leakage. Please do not touch the faces of the lapped seal while handling them. Also, avoid placing the face seals in terms of their faces.
Make use of lubricant. This will also help in the long life of your face seals. Please note that lubrication is essential,
- It prevents the rolling and tearing of O-rings while operating
- Always use the right type of lubricant; different O-rings require different lubricants per their material. (If you choose the wrong lubricant, it will lead to weakness and deterioration of your O-rings)
- You must use fresh and clean lubricants
The seal life of final drives has a great influence on working conditions. When operating the machine, you should consider field conditions, climatic conditions, and other factors.
Because conditions like the temperature and pressure vary with weather changes, speed and acceleration will also change. So, the final drive seal must be ready to handle changing conditions.
For instance, if your excavator is working in a swamp. Then it may experience a very high pressure because of submergence in water. The higher temperature on the construction site adversely affects the seal’s performance. The temperature increase may lead to seal material’s expansion or fusion.
These factors lead to the permanent failure of your face seals in certain situations. The only solution at your hand is the replacement of these worn-out or damaged seals because you cannot repair these seals.
Conditions on Undercarriage
The undercarriage conditions also influence the seal efficiency and effectivity. The abrasive particles, including sand, debris, dirt, or other foreign materials, may also damage your seals. They contribute to decreasing the lifespan of your face seals.
In this image, you can witness the severe debris build-up. It is so severe that forcing it out result in tearing.
The thing you can do to avoid the damaging effect of these particles is cleaning of your final drive. Regularly clean your undercarriage after accomplishing each operation.
Suppose you do not clean your final drive or undercarriage regularly. Then the layer of abrasive materials sticks to your final drive resulting in total loss. With time they result in scoring, rusting, and corrosion.
A pressure washer can help you with the cleaning tasks. The pressure washer uses high-pressure water and a mixture of detergent. This can rip off the debris, sand, and dust and leads to effective cleaning.
Add this cleaning process to your maintenance schedule. You will judge a clear difference between your seals’ life and your undercarriage.
The face seals have a higher cost associated. Even premature wear and tear may result in extra expenses. Replacing premature or permanently damaged seals involves expenses and human resources.
Also, the seal damage leads to damage to the internal components on your final drive. So, it is better to take care of them.
We have mentioned all the practices, including correct installation, replacement in clean vicinity, and undercarriage cleaning. You can follow these practices to make your face seals last longer.
Xugong Parts is a click away if you want new face seals on your final drive! We offer high-quality, durable inserts that will be perfect for your company’s needs. A face seal replacement will keep your final drive functioning well and save you money in repair costs later on down the line.
If you need this part or anything related to your final drive and want it at a low price with high quality, come to Xugong Parts today!