A mechanical seal is a device that helps join systems and mechanisms together by preventing leakage (e.g. in a pumping system), containing pressure, or excluding contamination. The effectiveness of a seal is dependent on adhesion in the case of sealants and compression in the case of gaskets. The seals are installed in pumps in a wide range of industries including chemicals, water supply, paper production, food processing and many other applications.
A stationary seal may also be referred to as 'packing'.