Tag Archives: Fluid Sealing Association

Improper Gasketed Joints Can Be Deadly

Safety is a concern at any industrial site. An Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance specialist has stated that safety should be more than priority: “Priorities in an organization can and usually do change. Safety and health need to be a core value of the organization.”

Safety can be a case of values versus priorities. When it comes to sealing devices, perceived dangers sometimes are overlooked. The case of an explosion at a refinery in Anacortes, Washington, shows how deadly accidents can occur when safety risks are distorted.

A heat exchanger, known as E-6600E, catastrophically ruptured at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes on April 2, 2010. Highly flammable hydrogen and naphtha at more than 500 degrees F were released from the ruptured heat exchanger and ignited, causing an explosion and an intense fire that burned for more than three hours.

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Back to Basics: Expansion Joints

Many members of the Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) Non-Metallic Expansion Joint Division and of the Expansion Joint Manufacturers Association (EJMA) feel that expansion joints are the forgotten components of many piping systems. Other piping systems components – flanges, gaskets, strainers, valves, pumps and the pipe itself – seem to get most of the design time.

In many ways, expansion joints are the most important components of a well-designed piping system. They are the “living and breathing” dynamic part of the whole system.

Without well-designed and well-placed expansion joints, parts such as pump nozzles, valve bodies and pipe anchors could face excessive loading and vibrational fatigue. Without proper compensation, thermal growth at elevated temperatures can damage some pipes, reducing their operation life.

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Back to Basics: Semi-Metallic Gaskets

This is the second of two articles in this “Back to Basics” series that discusses gasketing. While the first article was on soft gaskets, this article will focus on semi-metallic gaskets.

Many variations of semi-metallic gaskets are available. In general, the combination of metal and a soft material merges the structural integrity of the metal with the sealing ability of the soft material. Common variations include corrugated, jacketed, kammprofile and spiral-wound gaskets.

Corrugated gaskets consist of a thin metal that is corrugated or embossed with concentric rings and faced with a soft material such as flexible graphite.

Corrugated gaskets use the substrate’s geometry to achieve conformability to flange irregularities and promote recovery over the life of the seal; they are essentially a line contact seal.

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FSA to Hold Short Courses at Valve World Americas

Valve World Americas will be held June 20-21, 2017, in Houston, Texas. In conjunction with this event, the FSA will be conducting two training courses on Monday, June 19th.

For more information on the courses and to register, click here.

VALVE INSTALLATION: Best Practices for Fugitive Emissions Service
10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

This training will focus on identifying best practices in regards to valve packing installation as outlined by the FSA. The best valve packing installed incorrectly will not ensure compliance to LDAR requirements. It is imperative that a plant have a serious, focused, approach to this important subject. One way to improve this is by creating a continuous improvement process regarding valve packing that is fact based and focusing on identifying and classifying root causes of packing performance.

FLANGE SEALING INSTALLATION: Best Practices
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Flange leakage in emissions service can result in lost production and money. If a plant is going to reduce emissions at a plant, one important step that is often overlooked is procedures of flange sealing. This training will focus on the FSA’s best practices for successful flange sealing, including gasket seating stresses, torque calculations, and gasket selection.

The Valve World Americas Expo & Conference 2017 will once again serve as the meeting point for the flow control industry, showcasing the growth in interest by exhibitors and attendees who will experience the technologically in-depth conference program, product showcases on the expo floor, and incredible networking opportunities.

For more info on the Expo & Conference, click here.

FSA Releases Updated Expansion Joints – Piping Technical Handbook

The FSA has just released a complete update of their Expansion Joints – Piping Technical Handbook. Edition 8.0 is based on the latest experience in research, design, and application of piping expansion joints by engineers associated with the Expansion Joint – Piping Division member companies in the FSA.

This publication is available for free download at: http://www.fluidsealing.com/expansion-joints/expansion-joints-publications/

The Expansion Joints – Piping Technical Handbook, edition 8.0, includes:

  • updated renderings of expansion joints and expansion joint layouts.
  • a new section on specialized expansion joints, such as hinged rubber expansion joints, gimbaled rubber joints and pressure balanced expansion joints.
  • a comprehensive list of definitions as they are viewed within the industry.
  • an expansion joint specification sheet for end users to gather information for customer inquiries to FSA member companies.

The publication is intended to be a reference source of information and data for engineers who design and install piping systems. It provides guidance on design and selection of material and proper installation.

“The collaboration on the revised handbook was fantastic. All Expansion Joint – Piping Division members put a lot of effort into the redesign of this handbook,” said Rob Coffee, FSA Vice President. “Special recognition goes to Mr. Gary Eiseman of Dinatecnica for taking the lead on organization of the project.”

 Piping Technical Handbook 8.0 Cover FINAL

Back to Basics: Soft Gaskets

A non-metallic gasket is one that does not have any metal in its construction and that consists of one or more materials such as elastomers, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), flexible graphite, natural fibers or mineral-based materials. The gasket also may be composed of a binder and filler(s), or it could be completely homogeneous.

Understanding the forces acting within a bolted joint flange assembly (BJFA) is critical because these forces have a direct impact on the performance and longevity of a soft gasket installed within a BJFA.

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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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Back to Basics: Mechanical Seals

Mechanical seals touch nearly every aspect of industrialized society. Wherever a rotating shaft moves fluid, mechanical seals play a key role in sealing process fluids in, keeping contaminants out, or both.

A few basic components and principles in mechanical seal design contribute to a working seal at the interface of the rotating shaft and stationary pump/mixer/seal-chamber housing. Mechanical seals are usually end-face seals or rotating-face seals, but in some designs they can be circumferential or even a hybrid of lip-type seals.

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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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Analyzing Life-Cycle Costs to Select the Best Sealing Solution

Choosing the sealing solution that will be the most cost-effective option for a particular application is not as
simple as selecting the one that has the lowest one-time cost.

To assist users in choosing the best seals, the Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) created a life-cycle costs (LCC) calculation tool that enables end users to compare solutions to determine which offers the lowest cost over the life of the pump.

The FSA’s LCC calculation tool allows users to compare additional considerations, including the annual operating cost of each sealing solution. The tool calculates the traditional elements, such as spare parts and labor, plus parasitic losses that are often overlooked.

Read the entire article here.