How to Choose the Correct Seal Type with Chuck Tanner

Seals are very important to contain machine fluids and keep them from different sort of contamination. There are different types of seals in the market such as traditional packing, mechanical seals, air seals, and other seals that keep bearing hoses in check. Traditional packing is one of the cheapest sealing solutions out there in the market. The only difference between a mechanical seal and packing is that the mechanical seals work very well for the rotating piece of equipment. They give precision and accuracy where is needed as compared to the traditional packing where there are a lot more chances of errors while holding the fluids in.

In this episode, we covered:

  • What are seals?
  • What are the different types of seals?
  • What seal types are best for various applications?
  • Can you retrofit different types of seals?
  • And much more!

You can pick one of these on the basis of ROI from their usage. The mechanical seals run longer than packing but the choice should be made depending upon the use and lifetime that you want from your piece of equipment. So, the cost is a big factor while choosing a type of seal for your pumps. Then, there are air seals that are cost-effective and use advanced technology. They are environment-friendly but need extra care while taking operating conditions of the equipment into account. The biggest advantage of having these types of seals in place is that they work well with rotating shafts.

There are other limitations as well when you use traditional packing or mechanical seals. Air seal technology uses a throttle system that creates a non-contact air pad around the shaft and keeps the process fluids inside the piece of equipment. It doesn t touch the shaft and has a much more distance capacity than other types of seals. So, basically, it reduces the radio movement of the shaft that causes a lot of problems in the long run. The seals can be switched as well but you need to make sure that your stuffing box has that kind of flexibility in there.

The main purpose of using seals is to reduce the initial cost of fixing the equipment and handle the life-cycle cost of the asset in a well thought-out manner. The operating cost of the asset can be highly affected by the operating conditions as well. So, the operations people should be trained in such a way that they know the consequences of using the wrong type of seal. Their insights in the selection of the seal are vital from a technical standpoint. They are the ones who are working on the equipment.

There are other factors that contribute to the selection of a seal. The RPM values, the viscosity of the fluids, pressure, and temperature are some of these parameters that add to the effectiveness of the seals. The amount of heat that your equipment generates directly contributes to the lifetime of your asset. The key to having a successful seal implementation is the maintenance and basic care of the product that you have installed into your equipment. The organizations need to be familiar with the operating mechanisms of seals and they really need to understand the importance of longevity with sealing products.

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