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Labyrinth Seals

Labyrinth seals are a critical component applied across rotating equipment to seal high pressure areas from low pressure areas and prevent contamination of the process. Designed as a non-contacting seal with a precise clearance over the rotor, labyrinth seals directly affect equipment efficiency.

As with all Bearings Plus solutions, labyrinth seals are custom-engineered for each application. Design factors include seal arrangement, operating temperatures, pressures, speed, process make-up, and thermal expansion, among others.


Optimize Efficiency with Thermoplastics

To improve efficiency, particularly in multi-stage centrifugal compressors, Bearings Plus applies thermoplastic labyrinth seal solutions. 

The abradable nature of thermoplastics allows a labyrinth seal to be designed to a tighter clearance than a metallic labyrinth seal would be.

If a metallic labyrinth seal were to experience a transient rub during machine start-up, or a hard rub during operation, the teeth of the seal could cause expensive damage to the rotor through wear or galling. A large clearance is therefore designed to avoid shaft contact.

The abradable thermoplastic labyrinth seal can experience rubs without causing rotor damage, as it is both abradable and has anti-galling properties. Smaller clearances can be designed with the thermoplastic material, reducing leakage and improving machine efficiency.

Thermoplastic labyrinth seals can be applied at the impeller eye, interstage and/or balance piston locations. 


Advantages with Thermoplastic Labyrinth Seals

  • Tighter seal clearances
  • Reduced leakage
  • Improved efficiency
  • Option of straight or slanted teeth
  • Corrosion resistance for operation in a variety of fluids


Thermoplastic Material Options

  • Torlon® polyamide-imide*
  • Fluorosint® enhanced PTFE
  • PEEK

*Torlon® is a product and registered trademark of Solvay.
Fluorosint® is a product and registered trademark of the Quadrant Group.


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