Tag Archives: compression packing

How to Prevent Galvanic Corrosion of Valve Stems

Valve packing is a necessity for plants trying to contain product and meet the latest emission requirements However, finding a sealing product that works and has longevity can be a challenge. Graphite-based packing can be a good choice for stem sealing when elevated temperature requirements are necessary. This is due to graphite’s ability to maintain its sealing properties at temperatures that cause polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) to break down and allow leaks to occur. However, graphite is not an electrical insulator like PTFE; graphite will act as a metal and undergo galvanic corrosion if the environment is right.

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Fluid Sealing Association Releases Latest “Compression Packing Technical Manual”

The Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) has released the fourth edition of the “Compression Packing Technical Manual.” This update represents a four-year intensive joint effort of FSA and the European Sealing Association’s (ESA) compression packing technical committee’s new technical learnings. These learnings can help inform end users on industry best practices and performance characteristics of compression packings.

New sections to the manual have been added including:
- environmental controls
- compression packing vs. mechanical seals – leakage rates
- pump packing power consumption
- determining stuffing box dimensions

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How to Investigate Compression Packing Failure Modes

In many respects, troubleshooting and failure analysis of packing materials is similar to the investigation of a crime scene. A good investigator knows how to gather clues from many different sources and put them together to understand what has happened. A good troubleshooter uses the same information gathering method, familiarizing themselves with the sealing materials, the process equipment and the systems where they are used.

The troubleshooter should seek information from the people who work with the equipment on a regular basis. Seal installers, maintenance personnel, operators, process engineers and others can all shed light on potential causes of failure.

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Compression Packing: A Look Beyond the Standard Stuffing Box

Stem packing is a familiar product. The most common type is braided compression packing. Braided packing is used in a wide range of applications. Depending on the service, construction materials can be as diverse as plants or animal derivatives, mineral fibers or synthetic plastics and even metal. The process of cutting rings from rope packing, inserting them into a stuffing box and torquing them to the right density is common, but it is not always the best choice. Another widely used manufacturing method is die-molding. It is the process of wrapping a material around a mandrel, placing it in a die and preforming it to make a seal. Using these and other manufacturing technologies, packing is found to work in applications as different as aerospace, heavy trucking and power generation. A review of some unusual applications demonstrates the versatility of compression packing as a selaing solution.

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Compression Packing Division – FSA Annual Meeting 2017

The Compression Packing Division will meet in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 26 to discuss an update of their technical handbook, joint projects with the ESA, and studies being done by CETIM. The division is developing a three-part webinar series that will include information on compression packing installation. They will review updates on external standards and regulations and outreach projects with other industry organizations and trade shows.

Compensating for Oxygen Concentration

The air we breathe contains by volume 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and approximately 1% argon. Oxygen concentrations as high as 23% are considered acceptable by OSHA. However, in many areas of industry and medicine where technical or high-purity oxygen is used, oxygen concentrations can exceed 23% and create what is known as “flammable atmosphere,” leading to serious accidents and the inability for workers to self-rescue from hazardous situations when proper care is not taken.

Oxygen is non-flammable, but it is a fire promoter and can accelerate combustion and thus is a hazardous substance. Ignition may be caused by sparking, welding or using electric tools when concentrations rise above 23%. Materials of construction, education and testing go far to prevent these hazards in industrial settings.

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Back to Basics: Compression Packing

You have probably heard the old saying, “If you don’t have time to do it right, then you’ll need to make time to do it over.” Understanding basic compression packing installation steps is key to getting the job done right the first time.

The goal of this article is to provide an overview of the critical steps necessary to ensure outstanding packing performance.

The first step is to remember the “5 Ps of Packing Installation.”

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Birth of the General-Purpose, High-Performance ePTFE/Graphite Packing Fiber

A great innovation in compression packing was the development of a new material class by Ritchie Snyder of W.L. Gore & Associates in 1981. He envisioned a single material that would allow for broad standardization across a wide
range of applications. It would deliver the chemical compatibility of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and graphite, with the mechanical strength of the then newly expanded PTFE material (ePTFE).

Over the next 35 years, many pulp and paper, chemical, mining and power companies have standardized their plants with this new material class of ePTFE/graphite packing fiber.

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Valve Stem Packing Compression & Installation

With today’s mandate for reduced fugitive emissions and improved air quality in industrial valves, proper installation of stem packing has become critical. But the importance of effective sealing by packing in the stuffing box goes beyond volatile operations where leakage can be hazardous It also applies to applications such as steam and low-temperature inert services. Stem packing leakage in non-fugitive emissions applications can be expensive because of product loss and a reduction of operating efficiency. It all comes down to proper installation with precisely the right material.

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How to Avoid Compression Packing Failure

Waiting to replace packing in centrifugal pump service can lead to downtime and safety issues.

Compression packing has been around since the beginning of the industrial revolution and is still used extensively in types of equipment in which a stuffing box seal is required to prevent loss of process fluids to the environment. While advanced sealing solutions for rotary applications, such as mechanical seals, emerged over time, compression remains an important industrial tool.

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