5 Ways To Prevent Seal Leakage
A leaking seal may sound like a trivial issue. But long term seal failure can prove costly in two ways. First, you lose a significant amount of oil. And second, leaking seals can attract dirt and debris and damage your equipment. So, if you want to save the fluids and keep your machines running efficiently, you want the seals intact.
That said, here are five ways to prevent leakage and save yourself from expending huge costs on maintenance.
1. Select the right seal for the job
Precaution is better than cure, and this rule applies to seal as well. Ensure that the seal design is suitable for the pressure spikes and rotation speed it will endure during application. Also, see that the seal material is compatible with the fluid, so it doesn’t get corroded. All seals have a recommended range of pressure, temperature, and rotation speed. And you want to play by the rules if you wish to your seals running for the long haul.
2. Store appropriately under suitable condition
Whether you haven’t got around your sealing job yet or just keeping an extra in the warehouse, you need to prioritise the storing condition. When kept under the recommended requirements, the mechanical seals last well up to five years in excellent condition. Ensure that you disassemble the seal components, plug all the chamber and openings, and keep them in separate packages.
The ideal environment would be a cool and dry place with a temperature under 25oC and humidity below 75%. And, of course, you’ll want to keep them away from sunlight and any form of contamination.
3. Take extra precaution while installing.
Improper installation is the culprit for leakage most of the time. To avoid this mistake, take extra precaution and follow the manufacturer’s manual closely. Damaging the delicate faces and O-rings and not tightening the screws or gland bolts contributes significantly to seal failure.
Without proper knowledge and expertise, there are always chances of improper installation. So for the less experienced, choosing a cartridge seal over assembling individual components may be the right way to avoid complications.
4. Prevent Contamination
During operation, the seals can get clogged with dirt and debris from the fluids. Hence, filtering the process liquid will help prevent contamination and consequently seal failure. Using the correct flush plans and support system will prevent contamination and help keep the surfaces clean, sufficiently lubricated, and running efficiently.
If your process fluid contains abrasives, talk to a seal manufacturer. Cheshire Seals and Components is a good option. They manufacture top of the class seals, and their service is very personable. The staff may recommend a suitable seal material that best suits the condition, such as a tungsten or carbide face.
5. Control excess temperature
Exposing the seal to an excess temperature beyond the recommended range will accelerate ageing in seals. Such exposure will result in elastomer hardening, brittleness and eventually cracking of seal parts.
The reason for excessive heat generation could be incorrect venting of the seal chamber or improper lubrication of seal surfaces. Sometimes excess temperature and seal failure is also an indication of failure in another part of the system.