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Market Focus: Seals for Valve Applications

Valves are imperative for isolation and control functions, and can be found in a broad range of industries such as Oil & Gas, Water & Wastewater, Food & Beverage and Hydraulics & Pneumatics. We supply seal products into valve applications in a variety of styles including ball, gate, flap, plug, butterfly, spool, check and solenoid valves.

Characteristics of valve sealing

There are many challenges involved  in valve application sealing. Conditions and application parameters can vary with temperature extremes from cryogenic up to 325°C, and pressures up to 1000+ bar. Materials need to be carefully considered to suit all fluid compatibility required, and often the seal design requires low breakout friction and offer no stick-slip following prolonged static periods when the valve is not used.  Alongside this, customers require long service life and minimal maintenance.  

Different valve styles include ball, gate, flap, butterfly, spool, check and solenoid valves and different types of actuation include manual, pneumatic, hydraulic and electro-mechanical.

Different areas of the valve demonstrate different sealing requirements.



There are a range of sealing solutions to suit the variety of actuation types employed with valves. This includes diaphragms for pneumatic actuation, rotary and linear hydraulic and pneumatic seals, and gaskets and o-rings. Seal materials are available to suit all ranges of temperatures and media associated with the actuator and any external contaminants it encounters.

Body bonnet joint

This is a static sealing location that can often be sealed with an o-ring (a wide range of materials are available to satisfy fluid compatibility), however dependent on the fluid, pressures and temperatures, metal seals may be more suited to the application. Additionally, housing deflection under pulsating system pressures may worsen compression set sealing issues and a custom gasket design could be potentially more suitable than an o-ring. For subsea valves, a sealing solution capable of handling alternating pressure regimes and multiple media types may be required.


A critical and dynamic sealing location with often demanding requirements. Depending on the application of the valve, the seals used here may see frequent dynamic operation and will require a long wear life, whilst in other cases the valve may be static for long periods and then require operation with minimal break-out friction forces; in all cases, reliable sealing is paramount. We manufacture a range of linear and rotary seals for this location, using either elastomer or PTFE options. These include chevron sets, spring energised seals, PTFE slipper seals, wear rings and excluders. Full analysis of the valve duty cycle, internal and external medias and pressures must be considered before the optimum sealing solution can be specified.

Seat body

Valve seats are often mounted in a housing or carrier which has a sealed interface within the valve body and in these cases it can be a critical location to seal correctly. Dependent on the design, the seal location may be subject to upstream or downstream pressures at various points in the valve operation and in some cases fluid flow through the valve can pull or wash-out seals from their grooves if they are not designed to prevent this. As pressure conditions change with valve operation, the seals here may be required to withstand small (but sometimes frequent) movements of the carrier without sticking or wearing. We have a range of seal types and materials including spring energised PTFE and metal seals that can be used in this location (depending on the exact conditions during valve operation and use).

Valve Seat

A wide variety of elastomers and engineered polymer materials can be moulded or machined to suit valve seat components, and bonded rubber to metal or rubber to plastic seals can provide bespoke solutions that offer benefits in terms of space envelope, component count or ease of assembly.

Design & Development for valve sealing applications

Our engineering team understand the application demands associated with valve sealing and can support our customers with the design of seals for every position within the valves.

We provide a complete design service; from initial seal geometry and profile choice, to material selection and prototyping, through to final production. We utilise years of seal design experience and materials expertise, alongside technology such as 2D/3D CAD and FEA analysis programs to simulate performance before finalising each individual seal design.

We are familiar with the requirements of individual markets and their valve applications, and offer seals manufactured in materials with approval requirements such as NORSOK M-710, ISO23936-2, NACE, WRAS and FDA.

If you require support on seal selection complete our application form here.

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