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CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE

DEPARTMENT
MECHANICAL TECHNICIAN
QUALIFICATION MODULE

MECHANICAL SEAL TRAINING


COURSE

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Introduction
Mechanical Seals is a device which absolutely prevents the leakage
of pressurized fluid along a rotary shaft in equipments such as
pumps, compressors, agitators, etc. This device replaces the
conventional method of sealing, viz gland ropes.

Main Menu
Definition

Flash Cards

Primary Seal
Secondary Seal
Hands-on Exercise
Seal Arrangement
How A Seal Works ?
Basic Mechanical seal
Hydraulic Balance Seals
Types Of Mechanical Seals

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Definition

Advantages of mechanical seals over conventional packing are as


follows:
Zero or limited leakage of product (meet emission regulations.)
Reduced friction and power loss.
Elimination of shaft or sleeve wear.
Reduced maintenance costs.
Ability to seal higher pressures and more corrosive environments.
The wide variety of designs allows use of mechanical seals in almost
all pump applications.

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The Basic Mechanical Seal


All mechanical seals are constructed of three basic sets of parts as
shown in Fig.
1. A set of primary seal faces: one rotary and one stationaryshown in Fig.
as seal ring and insert.
2. A set of secondary seals known as shaft pickings and insert mountings
such as 0-rings, wedges and V-rings.
3. Mechanical seal hardware including gland rings, collars, compression
rings, pins, springs and bellows.

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Conventional Wet Mechanical Seals


Basic Mechanical Seal - 1

Loose ring set screwed to the shaft.


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Basic Mechanical Seal - 2 Wear here will create leakage.

Wear here will create leakage.

O-ring prevents leakage through the bore.


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Basic Mechanical Seal - 3

Leak path

Heat generated here

Large component.

Spring ensures automatic adjustment


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Basic Mechanical Seal - 4


Recirculation
for cooling

Secondary Seal

Gasket or O-ring

Tertiary Seal.
Primary Seal

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Basic Mechanical Seal - 5


Spring or Spring Force.

Seat or Mating Ring

Face or Primary Ring


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Spring Drive

Left hand or right hand spring?


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How A Mechanical Seal Works


The primary sealing is achieved by two
very flat, lapped faces which create a
difficult leakage path perpendicular to
the shaft. Rubbing contact between
these two flat mating surfaces
minimizes leakage. As in all seals, one
face is held stationary in a housing and
the other face is fixed to, and rotates
with, the shaft. Dissimilar materials are
usually used for the stationary insert
and the rotating seal ring face in order
to prevent adhesion of the two faces.
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How A Mechanical Seal Works


There are four main sealing points
within an end face mechanical seal.
The primary seal is at the seal face,
Point A. The leakage path at Point B
is blocked by either an 0-ring, a Vring or a wedge. Leakage paths at
Points C and D are blocked by
gaskets or 0-rings.

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Mechanical Seal Types


Mechanical seals can be classified into several types and
arrangements.

PUSHER:
pusher mechanical seal incorporates a
secondary o-ring; for example, that is
responsible for sealing the fluid path
between the pump shaft and the inside
diameter of the rotating seal face. As the
seal face wears and is hydraulically; by
stuffing box pressure, and mechanically;
by means of spring tension, compressed
against the stationary face the o-ring
moves along the pump shaft to
accommodate this wear and assist in the
absorption of shaft misalignment.
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Mechanical Seal Types


UNBALANCED:
They are inexpensive, leak less, and
are more stable when subjected to
vibration, misalignment, and
cavitations. The disadvantage is
their relative low pressure limit. If
the closing force exerted on the
seal faces exceeds the pressure
limit, the lubricating film between
the faces is squeezed out and the
highly loaded dry running seal fails.

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Mechanical Seal Types


CONVENTIONAL:
Examples are the Dura RO and Crane
Type 1 which require setting and
alignment of the seal (single, double,
tandem) on the shaft or sleeve of the
pump. Although setting a mechanical
seal is relatively simple, today's
emphasis on reducing maintenance
costs has increased preference for
cartridge seals.

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Mechanical Seal Types


NON-PUSHER:
In a non-pusher seal the secondary
seal; o-ring for example, is in a static
state at all times, even when the
pump is in operation. The secondary
sealing member is not required to
make up the travel as the rotary and
stationary seal faces wear. Primary
seal face wear is typically
accommodated by welded or
elastomeric bellows which move;
expand, to assist in the compression
of the rotary to stationary seal face
members.

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Mechanical Seal Types


BALANCED:
Balancing a mechanical seal
involves a simple design change,
which reduces the hydraulic forces
acting to close the seal faces.
Balanced seals have higherpressure limits, lower seal face
loading, and generate less heat. This
makes them well suited to handle
liquids with poor lubricity and high
vapor pressures such as light
hydrocarbons.
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Mechanical Seal Types


CARTRIDGE:
which have the mechanical seal premounted on a sleeve including the
gland and fit directly over the Model
3196 shaft or shaft sleeve (available
single, double, tandem). The major
benefit, of course is no requirement for
the usual seal setting measurements for
their installation. Cartridge seals lower
maintenance costs and reduce seal
setting errors
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Summary
Mechanical seals prevent leakage.
Rubbing faces are lubricated by fluid film.
Fluid film must be present, stable, clean,
reasonable temperature and viscosity.
Seals must be fitted in clean conditions and
with accuracy.
Two types of seal: pusher and non-pusher.
Each has its advantages.

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Summary

Seal life (MTBF) affected by:

Condition of pump.

State of pumped product in pump.

State of pumped product through the faces


dry running.

Excessive heat generation/inadequate cooling.

Pressure peaks.

Change in process fluid.

Sudden temperature changes.

Stop/Start.

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Summary
Fit mechanical seals accurately and in clean
conditions and operate pumps with a little care and
understanding, and the seals will last for years.
If a seal fails prematurely, carry out detailed failure
analysis before fitting a new one whenever possible.

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Mechanical Seal Theory


Primary Seal
Face or
Primary
Ring

Seat or
Mating
Ring

Springs

Higher pressure on outside diameter.


Higher pressure holds faces closed.
Fluid is forced between faces to lubricate.
Springs keep faces closed when no pressure.

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Primary Seal
Fluid film thickness is very important.
too thin - wear, causing early seal failure
too thick - visible leakage

Must be:
present - beware dry running
stable
clean - beware abrasive wear symptoms
reasonable viscosity
temperature controlled
acceptable pressure.
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Abrasive Wear

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Abrasives or no lubrication?

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Primary Seal - Abrasives

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Cyclone Separator

To mechanical seal

From pump discharge


To pump suction

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Coning Out

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Coning In

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Primary Seal
Excessive start / stop operation.

Will drastically reduce seal life (MTBF - Mean Time


Between Failure).

Wear occurs between faces at start-up.


No lubricating fluid film present.

Wear on drive mechanism.


Can cause lock-up / bayoneting.

Is start / stop operation necessary?


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Primary Seal

If faces is not flat, contact generates heat


Excessive wear - short life
1 light band = 0.0000116 inch or 0.0003 mm.
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Film thickness = leakage

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Primary Seal
Face (Primary Ring-Narrow) Materials

Carbon-graphite

Resin impregnated
Antimony impregnated

Carbon converted to Silicon Carbide

Resin impregnated

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Carbon converted to
Silicon Carbide

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Primary Seal

Face (Primary Ring-Narrow) Materials


Carbon-graphite

Resin impregnated
Antimony impregnated

Carbon converted to Silicon Carbide


Resin impregnated

Solid Silicon Carbide


Pure sintered
Reaction bonded

Tungsten Carbide

Nickel or cobalt bonded.

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Primary Seal

Seat (Mating Ring) Materials


Ni-resist

High nickel cast iron; austenitic cast iron

Ceramic

99.7% aluminium oxide

Mating Rings: Ceramic


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Primary Seal - Summary

A mechanical seal is self-adjusting for wear.

Has three main parts : Primary ring (narrower running face).


Mating ring (wider running face - harder).
Spring Force.

Usually the mating ring is stationary & the primary ring rotates with
the shaft.

The liquid film between the primary ring & mating ring is only 0.5 3.0 microns thick.

There are three main sealing areas : Primary Seal


- Primary ring & Mating ring.
Secondary Seal - Primary ring & Shaft.
Tertiary Seal
- Mating ring & Housing.

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Mechanical Seal Theory


Secondary Seal
Three basic forms
o-rings

Two groups
Pusher

wedges

sliding o-rings

bellows

wedges

Elastomer

non-pusher

Metal
Formed

bellows.

Edge welded
PTFE

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Secondary Seal : PUSHER

As face moves forward to take up wear.


The o-ring moves forward with the face.
Pushed by the hydraulic and spring pressures.
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Secondary Seal : PUSHER


Positive drive

Optimised cooling flow

Compact
multiple
springs
Optimised
face design

A typical pusher seal design for low emission duties.


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Secondary Seal : PUSHER


Advantages
Sudden failure very unlikely
Higher pressure capability - face not stressed
Wide choice of materials for all components
Field repairable

Disadvantages
Hang-up (not likely where o-ring is well isolated)
Permanent set / pressure problems (cause hang-up)
Excellent shaft surface finish required
Maximum temperature ~260C.
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Secondary Seal : PUSHER


Pusher Seal: Hang-up

An external quench will


prevent hang-up

Product leakage solidifies / crystallises / polymerises


This prevents o-ring pushing forward - leakage increases

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Secondary Seal : PUSHER


Pusher Seal: Hang-up

Excessive pressure and / or heat:


permanent set or extrusion

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Secondary Seal: O-Ring

Type R*OL/R

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Secondary Seal: O-Ring

O-Ring

Type 8B1

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Secondary Seal: O-rings


Nitrile
-40C to 100C (Hydrocarbons 120C)

Ethylene Propylene (avoid oil/hydrocarbons)


-40C to 135C (Water 150C)

Fluorocarbon (e.g., Viton)


-30C to 200C* (Water 115C - Max. in Steam
135C)

Perfluoroeleastomer (e.g., Isolast, Kalrez)


-20C to 215 / 315C*

Chloroprene - ideal for refrigeration duties


-40C to 100C

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Secondary Seal: Wedge

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Wedge
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Secondary Seal: Wedge

Wedge

Type 109B

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Secondary Seal: Bellows


No contact here.

Elastomer Bellows grips shaft tightly

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Secondary Seal: Non-Pusher

Bellows flexes to take up wear, misalignment and axial play


Fine machined shaft surface required
Do not use a good lubricant - never use silicon grease.

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Elastomer Bellows Seals

Type 502

Type 2
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Secondary Seal: Non-Pusher

No movement here.
Bellows expands to
take up wear

No contact
here.

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Secondary Seal: Non-Pusher


Advantages
Temperatures to 430C (or more)
No hang-up
Non-clogging
Fine machined shaft surface
Acceptable

Disadvantages
Sudden failure possible
(flashing or misalignment)
Limited material choice
Maximum pressure 35 bar g (2-ply to 65 bar g).

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Hands-on Exercise
Fit a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2
Elastomer Bellows Seal

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

(1)

1 Lightly scribe first datum line (1) on shaft.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

(1)

2 Dismantle pump remove seal chamber.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

Gasket

3. Fit Mating Ring into Gland Plate.


Measure dimension X.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

(1)

4 Scribe line (2) X mm outboard of line (1).

(2)

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal
Note this dimension from line (3) to
end of shaft or a shaft step.

(1)

(3)

(2)

L3
5 Scribe line (3) L3 mm inboard of line (2),
L3 is the working length of the seal unit (See Fitting Instructions).

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Hands-on Exercise

Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal


Lubricate shaft with suitable lubricant
On single-ended pumps, first slide
gland plate onto shaft, taking care
not to damage the mating ring

Suitable pushing sleeve

(3)

(1)

(2)

6 Pushing on the tail of the bellows, slide seal head into position, passed
line
(3). NB: Spring and Locating Ring removed.
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Hands-on Exercise

Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

(3)

7 Replace spring and spring locating ring.

(1)

(2)

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal
Check this dimension from line (3) to
end of shaft or a shaft step.

(3)

(1)

(2)

8 Ensure setscrews are withdrawn sufficiently to clear shaft and slide abutment
ring into position abutting line (3).
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Hands-on Exercise

Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

(3)

(1)

(2)

9 Check ring is square. Tighten setscrews. Refit seal chamber. Ensure lapped
faces are perfectly clean & dry.
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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

(3)

10 Insert gland plate into seal chamber.

(1)

(2)

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 2 Elastomer Bellows Seal

(1)

(3)

(2)

L3
11 Insert and evenly tighten 4 bolts, gently compressing seal to
its working length (L3).

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Hands-on Exercise
Assemble and Fit a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(1)

1 Scribe first datum line (1) on shaft.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(1)

2 Remove shaft from seal chamber.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal
X

Gasket

3 Measure dimension X.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(2)

4 Scribe line (2) X mm inboard of line (1).

(1)

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(3)

(2)

(1)

L3
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5 Scribe line (3) L3 mm inboard of line (2),


L3 is the working length of the seal unit (see Fitting Instructions). EXIT

Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(3)

(2)

(1)

6 Ensure setscrews are withdrawn sufficiently to clear shaft and


slide seal into position abutting line (3).

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(3)

(2)

(1)

7 Tighten setscrews and replace shaft / seal in seal chamber.


Ensure running faces are perfectly clean and dry.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(3)

(2)

(1)

8 Insert gland plate into seal chamber. Check gap A.

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Hands-on Exercise
Fitting a Type 109 PTFE Wedge Seal

(3)

(2)

(1)

L3
9 Insert and evenly tighten 4 bolts, gently
compressing seal to its working length (L3).

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Holding Clips - Wedge Seals

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Heat / Temperature Control


Heat in Stuffing Box
Two sources of heat.
heat soak from the product
heat generated by the seal

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Heat generation: the problem


Pressure drops to
atmospheric
Temperature increases
(~20C)
Fluid film thickness reduces
or disappears
Premature failure.

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Heat generation - the causes


Size
Speed
Temperature
Cooling
Product properties
Flush or multiple
Surface finish - faces
Materials of faces
Hydraulic pressure
Too much heat generated
Dry-running
Excessive wear
Very short seal life
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Hydraulic Balance

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Hydraulic Balance

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Hydraulic Balance

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Hydraulic Balance

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Hydraulic Balance

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Hydraulic Balance
Pressure = 10 kg/cm2

50%

125%

10

0.8 cm2

1 cm2

125% - 50% = 75% (7.5 bar)

75%

50%
10
0

75% - 50% = 25% (2.5 bar)

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Hydraulic Balance

Unbalanced Pusher Seal

Balanced Pusher seal

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Hydraulic Balance - Benefits


Reduced heat generation
Ideal for unstable and low SG fluids
Less heat to be dissipated - less cooling required

Reduced wear rate


Longer life

Reduced power required to drive the seal


Lower running costs

Increased pressure range for the seal


This simple modification allows much higher pressures to be sealed.

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Mechanical Seal Arrangements

Mechanical seals are arranged in different ways as per the API Plan.
Single Seals can be mounted internally, externally or internally mounted
with rotating counter ring.. They can be either balanced, unbalanced, with
or without circulation or flushing of seal faces, with or without throttle
bushes.
As for Double Mechanical seals, either one of the seals can be
unbalanced or balanced on its own or both together. It can be arranged in
back to back, face to face, or tandem arrangement.

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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Use multiple seals if:

Single seals utilise process fluid to


provide the lubricating interface film

fluid is toxic
fluid is flammable
environmental
isolation required
fluid changes state
fluid is not a good lubricant
or is a gas
fluid is unstable
dry running likely
expensive product
critical pump

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Mechanical Seal Arrangements

Two common arrangements


Tandem
low pressure buffer fluid
high integrity secondary containment
inboard seal lubricated by product

Back-to-Back (Double)
pressurised barrier fluid
inboard seal lubricated by barrier fluid

There are many other arrangements


Dual; Series; Concentric; Face-to-Face; etc.
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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Multiple seals: Tandem

Outboard Seal
Clean buffer
fluid lubricates
this seal
Buffer fluid is at
low
(atmospheric)
pressure.
Use API Plan 52

Basic tandem non-pressurised double seal

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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Multiple seals: Tandem

Inboard Seal
Product
lubricates
this seal
This seal is
under full
product
pressure

Use API Plan 52

Note possible
contamination
of buffer fluid.

Basic tandem non-pressurised double seal

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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Multiple seals: Tandem
Inboard seal
most likely to fail
first
Buffer fluid
level/pressure
will rise
Outboard seal
acts as secondary
containment

Use API Plan 52

Basic tandem non-pressurised double seal

Process can
continue until
completed.
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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Multiple seals: Tandem
Low pressure
fluid supply

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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Double seals: Back-to-back
If outboard seal
fails, barrier
pressure will
fail and pump
must be
switched off as
product will
leak out.

Use API Plan 53

Basic back-to-back pressurised double seal

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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Double seals: Face-to-face
Rotating
Mating
Ring

Stationary
seals

Similar in operation to back-to-back double seal


Much shorter arrangement - only one seat
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Simple rotating components.
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Mechanical Seal Arrangements


Double seals: Back-to-back
Pressurised
barrier fluid is
circulated
round the seals

This lubricates
both sets of
seal faces.

Use API Plan 53

Basic back-to-back pressurised double seal

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Flash Cards
1. Mechanical Seals is a device which absolutely ______ the leakage of
pressurized fluid along a rotary shaft in equipments such as pumps,
compressors, agitators, etc.

Allows

Reduces

Prevents

Right Answer

Controls
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Flash Cards
2. What will prevent leakage through the bore?

Seal Faces
Leakage
Shaft Sleeve

O Ring

Right Answer

Lock Screw

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Flash Cards
3. Identify the seal marked in the fig below?

Secondary Seal.

Primary Seal.
Right Answer
Tertiary Seal.

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Flash Cards
4. Excessive start / stop operation:
will drastically reduce seal life (MTBF - Mean Time Between
Failure).
wear occurs between faces at start-up.
no lubricating fluid film present.
wear on drive mechanism.
can cause lock-up / bayoneting.

TRUE

FALSE
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Answer Is True

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Flash Cards
5. If the seal faces are not flat, what will be the result?

The contact will generate heat.


There will be an excessive wear.
The seal life becomes short.

TRUE

FALSE

Answer Is True

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Flash Cards
6. In a mechanical seal, usually the mating ring rotates and the primary
ring is stationary.

TRUE

FALSE

In a mechanical seal, usually the


mating ring stationary and the
primary ring is rotates.
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Flash Cards
7. The 3 basic forms of secondary seal are?

O Rings.
Primary Ring
Wedges

Right Answers

Mating Ring
Bellows

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Flash Cards
8. Identify which is the balanced seal shown in the picture below.

You Are Wrong

You Are Right


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Right Answer

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Flash Cards
9. The two sources of heat generated in the stuffing box are:

a) Heat soak from the product.


b) Heat generated by the seals.

TRUE

FALSE

Answer Is True

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Flash Cards
10. The fig. below shows coning out of a face or primary ring.

TRUE

FALSE

It shows coning inn of a seal.

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