4 Tips To Extend Seal Life On Slurry Pumps
Abrasive materials such as boron carbide or silicon carbide in slurry fluids can corrode the pump system and damage seals. While the internal environment is conditioned against micro-chipping, the seals may be more vulnerable to damage.
Mechanical seals play a crucial role in the pumping system, preventing leaks and damage to your system. When abrasive materials from the process liquid enter the seal interface, they can cause the seals to erode and reduce their life. So, to keep your system running efficiently, taking good care of the mechanical seals is paramount.
Here are four tips to help you get the right seal and extend its life on a slurry pump.
1. Select the right seal design.
A robust seal design that can withstand the abrasive effect of the process liquid is the right way to go. Many manufacturers produce heavy-duty seals that are clog-free to ensure smooth pumping. The characteristics of these heavy seals for slurry pipes will include durable construction material, robust springs, and hardened faces. Cheshire Seals and Components offer a wide range of seals that are suitable for slurry pipes.
2. Use a lubrication film.
It is essential to place a lubrication film of the correct thickness at the seal interface. This will help the seal to stay intact and in excellent shape. If the film is too thick, you risk the leakage of fluid between the seal faces, which will wear it off. On the other hand, a thin film will cause more friction and generate excess heat, causing unwanted damage to the seal.
3. Add a restrictor bushing.
A full-proof way to prevent those abrasives from reaching your seals is by installing a restrictor bushing. These bushings are designed for all rotary types of equipment, including mixers and agitators, to prevent contact between the fluid and the pump housing. They are simple to install and do an excellent job at keeping abrasive fluids away.
4. Flushing Plan
Integrate a proper flushing plan to rid your seals from any abrasives. A good flushing plan will benefit both the mechanical seal and the equipment. You’ll prevent stagnation and solid accumulation in the stuffing box as well as extend the seal life. Proper flushing will also ensure lubrication and help prevent the system from running dry.
Slurry and no slurry, all pumping systems depend on a mechanical seal for steady and efficient operation. These tiny parts determine success or failure. Eroded mechanical seals will cause leakage, which can incur a significant loss of resources over a long period.
Invest in a robust seal from a trusted manufacturer and ensure that your seal is fully compatible and ideal for the operating environment. Have a skilled technician install the seal, so there is no mishandling or damage to the delicate parts.
Ensure that you select the right seal and the right pumping system with well-aligned shafts, strong bearings, no cavitations, etc. After all, a slurry pump is heavily tasked, and all these factors will determine the life of the system.