Category Archives: Pump & Valve Packings Blog

Updates to Industry Standards Offer New Options for Fugitive Emissions Testing

Standards groups in the U.S. and abroad have been actively advocating for compression packing used in valve stem sealing. Some of other more relevant provisions and changes are outlined in this article.

The working group (WG 10) for International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) ISO/TC 153/SC 1, which covers industrial valves – including design, materials, manufacturing, testing and inspection – has been working on the second edition of ISO 15848-1.  The second edition has reportedly been approved and is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2015.

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Preformed Packing Rings Outperform Field-Cut Parts

One of the oldest sealing devices, compression packing is still very common in modern industries such as oil and gas, petrochemical, agriculture, pulp and paper, power generation, and mining. Compression packing is made from a range of soft and pliable fibrous yarn materials – from vegetable and animal fiber to many high-performance synthetic fibers. Most compression packing is formed by braiding fibrous materials such as carbon, PTFE, graphite, aramid and acrylic yarns. Each braid structure – round, square or braid over braid – is unique and intended for specific performance.

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A Cross Functional Team Can Improve Sealing – How does this team enhance pump and valve seal performance?

Valve and pump packing performance improvement is usually approached from a procedure or specification process.  Engineering and purchasing determine the parameters for the plant and create a procedure for selecting the packing type and how it is used. At many plants, this document is not often referenced or updated. Also, this process does not involve many stakeholders and is often one direction (top down).

As a result, this process can make the procedure thin and leave out important packing fundamentals details. This can lead to plants that rely on misleading and potentially incorrect information or world-of-mouth information. This affects the success of packing performance. A better method is to use the continuous improvement process to target improved packing performance.

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What are pressure seals, and how do they work?

A pressure seal is a valve design concept that offers distinct advantages when compared to a conventional bolted body-to-bonnet sealing mechanism. It uses the valve system pressure to provide sufficient forces against the valve body’s internal diameter (ID) and the bonnet surfaces. As the system pressure increases, the force on the pressure seal gasket also increases.

Although the only working part of the gasket is the apex or toe, the pressure seal conforms to the inside diameter of the valve. When the system pressure is activated, the toe forms a seal that can maintain thousands of pounds of pressure and keep the system media contained within the valve.

Most often, it is used for high pressure in power generation, pulp and paper, refineries and even chemical plants. Because of the reliance on system pressure to maintain a seal, these valves are best applied in systems in which the minimum operating pressure is more than 500 psi.

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