Seal Failure Analysis

A Systematic Approach

  1. Do not throw away any evidence.
  2. All damage will be due to possibly three factors:
    • Chemical
    • Thermal
    • Mechanical
  3. Carefully and completely examine the characteristics and evidence available to you.
  4. Seal Faces:
    • Overall corrosion – chemical attack
    • Leaching
    • Abnormal grooving
    • Erosion damage: Is the damage localized or does it have a pattern?
    • Excessive pitting
    • Sludging or bonding
    • Thermal damage or other evidence of excessive heat
  5. Secondary Seals (gaskets)
    • Extrusion
    • Chemical attack
    • Vibration
    • Excessive volume change
    • Thermal attack
  6. Drive Mechanisms:
    • Wear patterns normal or abnormal
    • Uneven load distribution
    • Excessive wear from vibration
  7. Carefully and completely explore all possible solutions to the problem. Select the best remedy, taking into account cost, availability, benefit and return on investment. Use your seal vendor as a resource.
  8. Implement the solution.