Manufacturers that use hydraulic cylinders are among the largest users of custom seals, according to a recent study. In many cases, the machines they use are older and seals for them are no longer made commercially. Manufacturers rely on European equipment and seals for them aren’t readily available in the U. S. And some companies order custom seals because turnaround times are shorter and the premiums, if any, are relatively small.

To meet those needs, engineers at Hercules Sealing Products Inc., Clearwater, Fla., use a programmable CNC cell to custom make hydraulic and pneumatic O-rings, rod seals, piston seals, wipers, backup rings, rotary seals, and swivel and static seals in both inch and metric sizes. Advanced lathe technology puts smooth corners and fillets, fine surface finishes, and sharp lips on custom seals. Turnaround times are said to be short (as little as one day) and there are no mold costs. Customers can modify dimensions and materials on over 100 standard profiles. Available materials include rubber and urethane elastomers, fluoropolymers (PTFE) and Acetal (POM).

Resources: Hercules Sealing Products Inc.