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Selecting the correct bearing seal

Publication: 
Maintenance Technology
Publication date: 
February 2014
Author: 
Tom Bishop, P.E., EASA Senior Technical Support Specialist

This expert advice will help simplify your application-specific decisions about external seal types.

The primary functions of a bearing seal are to keep lubricant in the bearing and bearing chamber contaminants out. 

Some seals are integral to the bearing; others aren’t. The focus here is on what to consider when selecting external bearing seals. Key factors in making the right choice for an application typically include:

  • Bearing type (rolling or sleeve)
  • Lubricant (oil or grease)
  • Seal friction and consequent heating
  • Shaft surface speed and finish
  • Physical space available

To select the appropriate seal for an application, match the relevant factors from the above list with the characteristics of the following external seal types.