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What's The Difference Between Positive And Non-Positive Hydraulic Seals?

by Phil Lawrence

Seals play an important part in hydraulic systems. They help prevent things from getting into or out of core parts. For example, they stop leaks and maintain optimum pressure levels in a system. They also prevent contaminants from getting into your hydraulics. Without these seals, your hydraulics might not work efficiently. They could break down or get damaged.

However, not all hydraulic seals do the same job and work on the same types of hydraulics. You have to choose whether to use static or dynamic products; you also have to choose the right shape and size of seal for each connection. Plus, you might have to choose between positive and non-positive seals. What is the difference between the two?

What Is A Positive Hydraulic Seal?

A positive hydraulic seal creates a completely closed connection on its parts. This kind of seal doesn't allow anything to leak out of the system. It also doesn't allow anything to get inside it. So, a positive seal will keep hydraulic fluid safely contained inside your system. Your hydraulics will only work to optimum efficiency if you have the correct volume of fluid in play. This kind of seal helps maintain these levels.

At the same time, a positive seal also blocks anything from getting into your hydraulics. If contaminants such as dirt and dust particles get into your fluid, then they can degrade its purity. Same goes for moisture, water, and air.

If your fluid isn't in the right shape, then your system might not work correctly. Plus, over time, your hydraulics could get damaged enough to need a repair. Or they might break down completely. A positive seal should prevent these contamination problems and keep your system in better shape.

What Is A Non-Positive Hydraulic Seal?

A non-positive seal also protects your hydraulics system. However, this kind of seal works slightly differently. Like a positive seal, this product will create a tight enough seal to prevent anything from entering your system at this point. So, you get protection against problems like contamination.

However, a non-positive seal does allow some internal movement. These seals are designed to give out small fluid leaks inside their part of the system. These interior leaks are useful; they allow your system to self-lubricate. So, this option could be useful around parts like pistons which need a regular source of lubrication to work.

For advice on whether you should use positive or non-positive hydraulic seals on your system, contact seal suppliers.