Mechanical seals are very useful for controlling leakages, maintaining pressure, and preventing the entry of contaminants into the system. Although it’s one of the top sealing solutions, mechanical seals can sometimes develop problems. Here are all the common mechanical seal problems and how to prevent them.
Fragile Seal Faces
Seal faces are fragile. Hammering coupling on the shaft can completely damage the seal. It’s therefore advised not to use a hammer on the shaft if you have a mechanical seal installed.
Abrasives Entering Seal Interface
Due to high pressure, abrasive liquids in the system can enter the seal interface. These liquids can prove damaging to the seal and reduce its service life. To avoid the damage caused by the fluids in the system, use restriction bushing.
Restricting bushing prevents the seal from coming in contact with the harsh processes of the system. This will also help your seal to last longer.
Stagnation and Accumulation of Solids
Stagnation and accumulation of solids in the stuffing box in slurry pumps can affect the integrity of the seals. This can hinder the circulation of fluids around the seal. To prevent this, it’s important to design and implement a proper flushing plan. This will help flush away the solids and will also help maintain the temperature of the seal.
Spring damage can occur due to misalignment, excessive stress, excessive vibration, and exposure to abrasive chemicals. To prevent this, make sure to check equipment alignment when installing the seal. Also, check the chemical compatibility of the procedures with the spring material used in the seals. Ensure that the pump’s vibration levels are within the operating limits of the seal.
Rubbing Between Rotating and Stationary Components
Rubbing between rotating and stationary components can cause damage both to the seal and the pump. There can be various reasons for this, such as shaft misalignment, concentricity issues, shaft deflection, and wrong installation of glands.
To solve the problem, run equipment integrity checks. Make sure you’re using the right seal and check if you’ve installed it right to ensure concentricity with the shaft. You can also switch to a different seal design that’s more compatible with your pump.
Multiple Chips on Seal Face
Visible chipping on the internal or external surface of the mechanical seal means it has been damaged. This can be due to heavy edge loading, excessive equipment vibration, or changes in the operating conditions. To prevent this, check the pump’s vibration levels to ensure that the limits aren’t exceeding. Check the operating conditions and see if it matches the operating conditions for the seal. Also, check the seal’s material integrity and make changes if required.
If you’re having any issues with your mechanical seals, contact Robco of America. We’re a mechanical seals company in Houston, Texas. We offer engineering sealing solutions and provide mechanical seals and related services. For more information, contact us at 1-800-662-0585.