The History, Function, and Uses of Aluminum Seals
An Important Part of Any Project
Seals are among the most important parts of any system, machine, or device. Seals are used to secure two pieces of equipment (which can mean pipes, levers, tubes, and other applications where connections are required) and prevent leaks. Almost everything you use or interact with has seals in it or is directly powered by something with seals. Some of the more common household applications include sprinkler systems, sink faucets and pipes, vacuums, computers, and a variety of other basic goods and tools.
In industrial settings, few seals are more important than those used in compressors and other high-pressure situations. Compressors are widely used throughout the aerospace, engineering, agricultural, automotive, and landscaping industries. Without proper seals, the pipes and tubes that make compressors operate would leak air or fluid, rendering them completely useless.
At Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing, we have hundreds of materials on-hand to create seals of any size or style. However, aluminum seals are among the most commonly requested type of compressor seal. What makes aluminum seals so important? From durability to ease of use, aluminum really is the workhorse of compressor seals.
An Overview and History of Seals
Unlike other products we manufacture, seals have not been around for hundreds and even thousands of years. Dry gas seals, the type used for compressors, were not invented until 1951.
One of the reasons seals do not have a rich and lengthy history has to do with their use. Simply put, compressors and other hydraulic applications where seals are useful were not widely used until the middle of the 20th century. While rudimentary seals have existed for a few hundred years (in the form of basic washers) and were a significant part of the industrial revolution (keeping primitive machines functioning properly), modern compressor seals were not widely used until the early 1970s. We have been manufacturing and producing seals since their widespread use and have developed techniques to create some of the world's highest-quality compressor seals.
Why Use Aluminum?
Aluminum seals are among the most popular and common type of compressor seals. Part of their popularity has to do with aluminum's nature. Aluminum has a number of advantages that other metals simply can't match, making it a versatile, reliable, and cost-effective metal to work with. Some of the benefits of aluminum include the following:
• Aluminum is one of the lightest metals available. It weighs roughly one-third as much as iron, steel, brass, and copper. Because of its low weight, it can be used in almost any environment and has found a home in the aerospace industry as well. The low weight also keeps shipping costs down.
• Aluminum, despite its low weight, is incredibly durable and strong. And unlike most other metals and materials that turn brittle and weaken as they get cold, aluminum increases in strength as the temperature drops.
• Aluminum will not rust and can withstand a number of chemical compounds without corroding. In applications where rust and other corrosive materials are present, aluminum will work better than most other metals.
• Aluminum is non-magnetic, making it a great choice for electrical applications.
• Aluminum can be made in single sheets and formed into a variety of shapes without the need for seems or joints. Without seams, aluminum can maintain incredible strength even in unusual or complex shapes.
Due to the wide number of benefits aluminum provides, it is a perfect choice for most compressor seals. If you need custom seals for your compressor, we have the machines and tools to create seals to your exact specifications.
Aluminum is made like many other metal products. What starts as raw ore from the earth (aluminum products are found mostly in clay, with bauxite being the most useful form of the raw substance) is crushed and dissolved to remove impurities.
Refining and smelting directly follow the preparation stage. The material is further refined and processed before it is ready to be injected into molds or pressed into specific shapes (usually sheets).
Custom Aluminum Seals
We can create custom seals to your exact specifications. While we can produce seals in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, there are a few common types of seals that we work with:
• Liquid film shaft seals are seal rings placed at the end of shafts or tubes to make sure nothing leaks out of the shaft.
• Labyrinth seals are stepped-type honeycomb and turbine, each one made to withstand high pressure.
• Dry gas seals are used to avoid contamination and leakage. Our aluminum compressor seals are dry gas seals.
• Mechanical oil seals are lubricated with oil and are for applications where motion and constant forces are present.
When You Need Aluminum Seals
Here at Phoenix Specialty, we have thousands of finished goods in stock and ready for delivery. We provide same-day shipping on most of our in-stock items and can have a custom order of aluminum seals delivered in as little as two to three weeks. And don't worry about size or shapes; we specialize in creating custom seals you won't be able to find anywhere else.
Phoenix Specialty has the fastest manufacturing cycle in the United States, allowing your Washers orders to be shipped in two weeks or less.
Phoenix Managed Inventory System
When provided with an EAU quantity, we inventory your products in house – ready to ship – so you don’t have to. Our safety stock levels help to avoid unplanned production down time, and if inventory falls below the safety stock level we will automatically replenish it, so your next release is ready to go! By strategically investing in raw materials and finished goods, we are your most reliable supplier for specialty shims, washers, seals, gaskets, and spacers.