Lip Seals: What These Unique Seals Are, What They Can Do, and a Few Uses

Seals are similar to gaskets in that their purpose is to form a tight closure around a pipe or opening. Lip seals are quite a bit different, though. They are comprised of almost a twin set of gaskets that form a "lip closure" around an opening. It is akin to a pair of lips and a mouth encircling something round. They can do quite a bit of different things, and they have some very interesting uses, too.

From Extreme Cold to Hotter Than an Oven

Lip seals have an amazing range of heat and cold tolerance. You could cut dry ice on a saw that runs at two to five hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and neither the ice nor the saw would damage the lip seal. With the right lip seal, you can provide some level of protection for whatever machine an industrial plant uses the seals for.

Providing Lubricant Within a Tight Space

There are just some industrial machine components where manual oiling and greasing would not work. The very slim, tight spaces between the larger part of the machine and a radial shaft or some other component are too dangerous to get near. Yet, when you use the lip seal, you can oil and grease the seal so that these tight spaces are oiled or greased by the lip seal. It is a very safe delivery system for keeping everything running smoothly and not overheating.

Sealing Radial Components

One use in particular seals off the radial shaft of a washing machine pump. This allows a washing machine to pump water through the radial shaft while it is spinning. Water cannot exit, even when the shaft is spinning because the lip seal allows circular movement through its center while forming a tight suction to the shaft and the spinning components outside of the lip seal and shaft. The shaft is an example of radial components (i.e. parts that spin in a circular motion).

Oil Drilling and Boring

Another example of how lip seals are used can be seen in the oil drilling and boring industries. The lip seals in these cases are used around the large drill shafts and boring shafts. They keep the drill/bore shaft well-lubricated so that the drilling or boring can continue straight down without starting a fire or setting off an explosion as a result of the shafts overheating. These uses also illustrate how large they come when you want to purchase some yourself.

​To start using lip seals in your operations, visit a local industrial supply store.