Seals are used to prevent fluid from passing a certain point, and to keep air and dirt out of the system in which they are used. The increased use of hydraulics and pneumatics in aircraft systems has created a need for packings and gaskets of varying characteristics and design to meet the many variations of operating speeds and temperatures to which they are subjected. No one style or type of seal is satisfactory for all installations. Some of the reasons for this are:
The pressure at which the system operates.
The type fluid used in the system.
The metal finish and the clearance between adjacent parts.
The type motion (rotary or reciprocating), if any.
Seals are divided into three main classes: packings, gaskets, and wipers. A seal may consist of more than one component, such as an O-ring and a backup ring, or possibly an O-ring and two backup rings. Hydraulic seals used internally on a sliding or moving assembly are normally called packings. [Figure 1] Hydraulic seals used between nonmoving fittings and bosses are normally called gaskets.