Deutsch: Dichtung / Español: Sello / Português: Selo / Français: Joint / Italiano: Sigillo

Seal in the industrial context refers to a device or substance that is used to prevent the passage of fluids (liquids or gases) through the space between two joining surfaces, thereby preventing leakage that could compromise the functioning of a system. Seals are crucial components in various types of machinery and piping systems where they maintain integrity and efficiency by ensuring that fluids do not escape from within.


Industrial seals can be made from a variety of materials including rubber, silicone, metal, and more, depending on the requirements of the application such as temperature resistance, chemical stability, and durability. The design and type of seal vary widely to match the specific needs of different equipment, ranging from simple O-rings to complex mechanical seals used in pumps and engines.

Application Areas

Seals are utilized in numerous sectors of the industry including:

  • Automotive: Seals in car engines and hydraulic systems prevent fluids from leaking and keep out debris that could cause damage.
  • Manufacturing Machinery: Seals are used in machinery to ensure that lubricants do not escape from bearings and gears.
  • Aerospace: High-performance seals are used to handle extreme pressures and temperatures in aircraft engines.
  • Chemical Processing: Seals in chemical plants protect against leaks that could lead to chemical spills, ensuring safety and environmental protection.
  • Oil and Gas: In the oil and gas industry, seals prevent leaks in drilling equipment and pipelines, which is critical for preventing environmental contamination and maintaining operational safety.

Well-Known Examples

  • O-Rings: These are one of the most common types of seals used across various industries due to their simplicity, effectiveness, and cost-efficiency.
  • Gasket Seals: Used between two flat surfaces, like in engines or flanges, to prevent leaks of liquids or gases.
  • Mechanical Seals: Used in rotating equipment, such as pumps and compressors, where a rotating shaft passes through a stationary housing or occasionally, where the housing rotates around the shaft.

Treatment and Risks

Proper use and maintenance of seals involve several considerations:

  • Material Compatibility: The material of the seal must be compatible with the fluids it will be exposed to in order to prevent degradation and failure.
  • Regular Inspection and Replacement: Seals should be regularly inspected for wear and damage, and replaced when necessary to prevent leaks.
  • Correct Installation: Improper installation can lead to premature seal failure, leaks, and damage to equipment.
  • Environmental and Safety Compliance: Ensuring that seals are effective is critical in preventing leaks that could lead to environmental damage or safety hazards.

Similar Terms

  • Gasket: Often used interchangeably with seal, though gaskets specifically refer to flat seals used between joined surfaces to prevent leakage.
  • Packing: A type of sealing material that is used to prevent leaks between a movable member and a stationary housing in things like pumps and valves.


In the industrial context, a seal is a critical component used to close gaps between two parts of a machine to prevent the unwanted escape of liquids and gases. These devices are essential for the safe and efficient operation of a wide range of machinery and equipment across different industries. They require careful selection, regular maintenance, and proper installation to perform their function effectively and safely.


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