Seals are mechanical components that prevent the leakage, diffusion, transfer, or mixing of different liquid, gas, solid, and multiphasic substances. This article begins by discussing the classifications of seals: static and dynamic. Static seals involve both self-energizing elastomeric materials such as O-rings, which merely react to a sealed fluid pressure, and passive materials that require clamping forces to achieve sealing, such as gaskets. The types of dynamic seals include rotary seals and reciprocating seals. The article describes the factors affecting seal wear and failure. It provides a list of some common seal wear modes and failures, namely abrasion, cavitation damage, chemical attack, compression set, corrosion, damage during abrupt decompression, dieseling damage, extrusion damage, installation damage, spiral or rolling damage, and vaporization damage. The article concludes with specific recommendations for reducting of seal friction and wear.
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