Component seals vs Cartridge seals

Two major factors come into play when deciding whether to go for cartridge seal or component seal. First is the cost of the seals and your budget. The second is your technical knowledge and expertise in installing the seal. So, narrowing down your choice may not be a difficult task. However, there are few other things to weigh before you call the shots. After all, mechanical seals play a crucial role in how well your equipment works and lasts.

Let’s look into a little more detail and find out which one’s for you.

What are component seals?

Component seals are the mechanical seals in individual parts such as seal faces, O-rings, brackets, and boots. These parts have to be carefully assembled piece by piece by a skilled technician.  He manually sets the spring tension, and improper installation may result in immediate seal failure.

What are cartridge seals?

Cartridge seal is a complete seal system that comes pre-assembled on a shaft-mounted sleeve. They have the same parts as component seals. However, in cartridge seals, the rotating parts are pre-built and sealed with an O-ring and the stationary components in the housing. They come with a pre-set spring tension.

Component seal vs Cartridge

Now, here is a comparison between the two on several aspects.

Price point

Cartridge seals may cost twice or thrice as much as component seals. For the immediate investment, the latter will prove advantageous. However, cartridge seals are longer lasting, and you may end up saving a lot more on repair and maintenance costs as compared to component seals.

Ease of installation

Assembling and installing a component seal requires some technical knowledge and skill. There is a risk of damaging the delicate parts by improper handling. Improper installation can also cause immediate seal failure. On the other hand, cartridge seals can be easily installed in no time. You don’t need to measure or run into axial displacement problems.

Seal Design

The two types of seals also offer different advantages owing to their design. Component seals are great for small pumps as they adapt easily to the tiny space. But its exposed parts are susceptible to damage from contamination. On the other hand, cartridge seals do not allow dirt and debris to enter its parts as it is held securely in enclosed housing. Hence they are less vulnerable to damage.

Tension Adjustment

The tension adjustment significantly impacts how the seal functions. A skilled technician can effectively set the spring tension to optimum benefit. However, during repair, you’ll need to disassemble the pump entirely to reset the tension. In cartridge seals, the spring tension is pre-set, so there is less hassle. But you can still make some adjustments by using the retaining device.

Final thought

If you need an initial low cost and you have the right technician, go for component seals. But if you want to throw in your all for the long haul, cartridge seals may be your worthy bet. Need to talk to a manufacturer or consult an expert on this? Check out Cheshire Seals and Components, a huge manufacturer of seals, both commercial and domestic seals.