A List of Possible Design Problems of Mechanical Seals

When working with mechanical seals, you want to maintain their usefulness and good performance so that you’ll receive great results. One way to make sure mechanical seals stay in good shape is by checking design problems. Even a small defect in your sealing equipment can cost production and operation dearly.

Here’s a quick guide on mechanical seal design and maintenance problems.

Issues with Faces of Mechanical Seals

Selecting the wrong hard face or carbon seals can have negative effects. The material may turn out to be incompatible with the chemical or liquid you’re trying to seal. The solvent, cleaner or flush system may also not work.

Problems with Face Flatness

If the face cross portion is way too narrow, the seal will experience pressure or temperature distortion problems. To prevent this distortion, the clamping forces should be “equal yet opposite.”

Weak Heat Conductivity

Compared to seals made of other materials, such as hard face seals, carbon is a relatively poor heat conductor. Plenty of other ceramic items are weak heat conductors. If you’re going to use carbon, the material should be dense enough as to prevent the expansion of air pockets and the formation of pits within the carbon face. Additionally, the best option would be unfilled carbon that has four impregnates.

Springs and Bellows

Springs found in the liquid can easily clog, especially when small springs are used. There’s also the problem of chloride stress corrosion in stainless steel bellows and springs.

Small cross sections of springs and thin bellow plates are considerably probe to abrasive wear, and you also want to be careful when winding a single spring because winding it in the wrong direction can cause damage.

Also, be careful with rubber bellows because when the bellows rupture, a disastrous failure is sure to follow.

Metal bellows and springs are more exposed to high stress, and stressed metals experience corrosion and fatigue faster.

Severe Operating Conditions

It shouldn’t be a surprise that extreme temperatures hasten damage in industrial equipment. Although industrial materials are continually being developed to resist severe temperature ranges, elastomers and several other seal faces are quite prone to damage from excessive heat.

Too much pressure can also deform the seal faces and case extrusion to the elastomer.

Although mechanical seals tend to be exposed to high speed because of rotating seal designs, a great deal of heat can lead to the seal faces overheating. A lot of movement can also cause the shaft to break apart.

Other Design Setbacks

Among other problems, the majority of seal faces tend to be weak in tension.

To preserve the effectiveness of seals, they should be packaged very securely because storage and shipment can be very hard on these devices.

If the application calls for high speed and lots of movement, consider using mechanical seals with a stationary design.

No matter how strong the material used to make sealing equipment, mechanical seals are bound to deteriorate at some point. However, there is something you can do about delaying their deterioration. With this guide, you’ll be able to target the weakness point of mechanical seals, and take better care of them.