• Applications for Pneumatic Seals

Applications for Pneumatic Seals

Pneumatics is the engineering science of how gases under pressure perform work, and pneumatic seals are an important part of keeping those gases under pressure.

Air brakes, nail guns, paint sprayers and jackhammers all use compressed air. Many use our pneumatic seals, which include a comprehensive range of rod and piston seals, wipers and guides.

Let's look at the application areas for pneumatic seals, as well as our pneumatic seal range.

Application areas for pneumatic seals

General mechanical

In general mechanical engineering, pneumatic seals are found in air compressors and vacuum pumps. These are used to drive equipment ranging from jackhammers to vacuum pumps.

Pneumatic drilling tools convert compressed air into a mechanical force for digging up concrete or for delicate excavations in dental enamel.

Vacuum pumps work by creating a decrease in pressure and causing materials to shift towards the vacuum.

Automotive engineering

Pneumatic seals in automotive engineering are found in heavy vehicle air brakes. These use compressed air to press the brake pad against the disc, bringing the vehicle to a halt.

The kind of pressure applied by air brakes is far greater than hydraulic brakes used in cars. That’s because the compressed air is actually forcing back strong springs that are constantly trying to apply the brake pads.

When the driver steps on the brake pedal, this compressed air is released and the springs clamp into the brake pad with immense force.

Foodstuffs and packaging

A great advantage of pneumatics over hydraulics is that air is freely available and does not contaminate food or packaging processes with fluid if the fluid leaks out.

Pneumatic seals are therefore safer than hydraulic systems for food processing and more suited to the relatively lightweight lifting and moving requirements of food production and packaging.

Our seals

Air pressure in machinery pistons move, lift and retract tools that shift loads, while pneumatic valves control the start, stop, direction, pressure and flow of air.

These pneumatic controls are behind automated processes such as packaging and assembly lines. There are three major requirements for pneumatic seals:

  • High sealing effect
  • Low friction
  • Long service life

Our Merkel range is a popular choice for pneumatic applications. In a simple cylinder design, a combination seal is fitted to the rod. This combines the functions of sealing and wiping the rod. Then a piston with injection-moulded guides and snap on, double-acting seal (Merkel Complete Piston Pneuko G) is screwed to the end of the rod.

The complete piston has a square elastomer ring for static sealing between piston and rod. The end stop of the piston at the final positions is damped by elastomer discs.

This classic arrangement of seals in a typical air cylinder is just the tip of the iceberg. Our comprehensive range of seals means there’s a pneumatic seal for every application. Contact us to find out more.