Mechanical sealing is very beneficial in different applications, including use in pumps. But if you've noticed that your seals seem to fail often and faster, there could be things you're doing wrong. Failures could be the result of installation and selection errors or they could also be the result of mishandling of the seals. By paying close attention to selection, installation, and operations, you should be able to minimize failures.
1. Never let your pump run dry
When you allow the pump to run dry, you risk damaging the Mechanical sealing that is in place. Mechanical sealing experiences thermal shock and break within a few seconds and therefore it is important to ensure that the pump is operating in the proper conditions to avoid such events.
2. Find ways to reduce vibration
Pump vibration is another cause of seal failure. Vibration can result from misalignment, pump imbalance, and pump operation in a BEP that is too far to the left or right of the performance curve. When it happens, you either end up damaging the equipment and damaged seals or the life of the seal is shorter, that's what you have as a result.
3. Do not hammer the couplings into the shaft
Hammering is the worst thing you can do with your mechanical sealing. The seal faces are brittle and when you hit the couplings on the pump shaft you will definitely end up damaging the mechanical seal. Use alternative means to position the couplings so that the seal can remain intact and in tip-top shape.
4. Know how to operate your pump
In most cases, improper handling of the pump will trip the motor and twist the shaft, causing orbital motion affecting internal parts and leading to seal failure. You will also shorten the life of your bearings if you don't follow start-up procedures. Incorrect installation of the seals should also be avoided as they could end up damaging the elastomers and causing other problems. The flat nature of the seals makes them sensitive and therefore care must be taken when handling them.
5. Correctly use mechanical seal wash plans
Your stamp will only be complete when you have a coordinated wash plan. Without the discharge plan, you will get contaminated and dehydrated products that cause excessive heat and seal erosion, shortening their shelf life.
6. Pay attention to the type and material of the seal
Most mechanical sealing failures are due to the choice of wrong seals and seal materials. A poor choice of material will only mean that your stamp will not maintain its intended purpose. Therefore, you should consider your operating conditions and non-process activities, such as acid flushing, steaming, and cleaning, when making your selection. Your seal material and seal type must match the liquid they will be sealed in, otherwise, you will face problems with your operations. There is always a suitable stamp for every application, so find the right one for yours.