The mechanical seals are the device which helps the join mechanisms or systems together by preventing containing pressure, leakage for example in the plumbing system or excluding the contamination. The mechanical seal is a very essential part of the modern industry. The seal is normally used as the method that contains the fluid or the gas within the pump, vessel or compressor. Shaft seals in most cases are used in mixers, pumps, or anywhere where the rotating shaft passing through the stationary housing. The mechanical face seals essentially are a specific type of a seal used to reduce the leakage. The effectiveness of the seal depends on the adhesion in a case of the sealants and the compression in case of the gaskets.
Seals have a wide range of applications, which means their usage is opened in a different type of equipment and it will work well in the mechanical operation such as the dishwashers, residential pools, among others.
The main cause of the pump downtime is because of the mechanical seal failure. For this to be avoided, it is very important to apply the correct seal an appropriate and desired function. The seal, however, can be subjected to a wide range of the operating conditions that cause the issue to go down a line. There are some cases when operating conditions can be different from the conditions which the seal was aimed at. Even though the seal is the right one in this job, it can fail anytime when it was not intended. This is mostly true in a plant which has multiple functions. Then what are the failing reasons for mechanical seals?
Letting the pump or machine to run dry
If you let the pump to run dry, it will damage the seal. This is because the seals shouldn’t be left run dry for they’re designed to permit the thin liquid film which migrates across seal faces. When seals run dry, friction will cause the heat to build-up finally causing leaks and damage. In many cases, mechanical seal goes through thermal shock which can disintegrate in thirty seconds after and the heat and friction are introduced to it.
A lot of vibration
Machines usually vibrate over time which can be caused by different factors like pump imbalance and improper alignment. It may even lead to the operating pump go beyond its right efficiency point. It means the machine will operate beyond the usual working point. The machines usually make vibrations when they have various moving components which can produce movements that can lead to vibrations. The vibrations may hurt a machine hence leading to damage of the components which can reduce the seal life.
Operator's error or human error
Skipping the initial start-up installation errors and procedures is the big factor during the mechanical seal failure. Incorrectly starting a pump will cause a motor trip and shaft to twist which may cause orbital movement that will result to shorten bearing life, seal failure, and internal parts contact. Incorrectly installing mechanical seal can cause the damage to elastomers, along with the wider issues, as featured to a right. The seals will be sensitive due to faces being incredibly flat. For the small amount of oil or dirt, fingerprints will cause faces not being in alignment.
The human error can cause the mechanical seal to fail. For example, the human error can result in the damage of the seals skipping the primary start-up procedures. When the machine doesn’t start correctly, this leads to the motor tripping and the twisting of the shaft. In turn, it causes movement which leads to the internal parts being in contact. This may lead to the failure of a seal hence reducing the life bearing. On the other hand, incorrectly installation of the seal will cause the damage of the components like O-rings. The failure to clean the surroundings of the seals will lead to failure. The correct maintenance needs to be given to a seal. The things which the seals become very sensitive are the damage which is even to the dirt, oil, and even the fingerprints.
Incorrect Installation of mechanical seals
Many mechanical seals normally fail at the initial start-up because of the installation is done incorrectly. Cartridge seals eliminate every measurement, protecting seal faces from the contamination and become very easy when installing. With the seals, the installation problems can be minimized. Outside seal essentially requires no installation measurements. The in-line seals need careful measurements to ensure correct installation. When you follow instructions of mechanical seals installation, and the step is correctly sealed, the installation will be easily attained.
The machines contain components like pistons which take on the hammering action. It is important to move machine as hammering can become very destructive not to the machine and to the seals. To some machines, hammering becomes very intense which it produces many of the vibrations and movement. Though hammering is essential among the machines which are driven by a piston which may cause many problems to a seal.
Using a mechanical seal which is inappropriate
There are various types of mechanical seals which are out there and it’s very important that appropriate seal to be used for a particular machine. Unluckily, even the seasoned engineers usually lack the required information on the type of mechanical seal which they need to use with the machines. Choosing the wrong seal can lead to errors during an installation process. You need to remember that different pumps handle or machines have a different type of products. You can’t, for example, choose the seal to handle the abrasive and the caustic liquid and then anticipate it not to leak in the end.
If you need to improve the lifespan of the machine, it’s very important to reduce the failure rate of the mechanical seal. You will do this when you select the correct seal and engage in right operating practices. Though seals look insignificant and small, they’re very dependable and can function very well if they’re used and also cared very well.
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