Tag Archives: Fluid Sealing Association

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.

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The Dangers of Hot Bolting

David Dunning is a Cornell University professor who is perhaps most famous for a paper he co-wrote about ignorance and over-confidence. The Dunning-Kruger effect refers to people who are novice or ignorant to things
they do not know but believe they are experts. The best example involves people who take a test on a subject they know very little about and receive a low score while believing they should receive a high score.

This effect has been studied and linked to many situations, but it can be a serious danger when it occurs in maintenance practices. Around the world, good maintenance practices have been poorly taught and communicated, and some ideas are unsafe and have no foundation in practicality. Still, they are handed down as the standard operating practice. This can have worse consequences than most Dunning-Kruger effects—it could be life-threatening.

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FSA to Hold Fall Meeting in Nashville – October 18-20, 2016

The Fluid Sealing Association will be holding their Fall Meeting on October 18-20, 2016, at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to see the meeting announcement with all the details. Come join us to learn about the FSA, keep up to date with the latest news in the fluid sealing and containment industry, and network with leaders in the industry! The deadline for hotel reservations and registration is September 17, 2016.

Manage Rubber Expansion Joints in Piping Systems to Maximize Reliability & Efficiency

It has long been recognized that rubber expansion joints (REJs) provide critical design functions that impact the reliability of the entire piping system. This has led some industry professionals to an overly conservative calendar-based replacement program and others to a somewhat reckless approach based on running equipment to failure.

Maximizing an expansion joint’s functional benefits while minimizing its inherent risk has always been a goal for the industry.

Until recently, end users have addressed this concern by using performance replacement REJs along with best practices for maintenance, reliability and operations (MRO).

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Fugitive Emissions Update

The Fugitive Emission Summit Americas ends today in Houston, Texas. Another summit will be held in Shanghai on September 20-21, 2016, again to provide a platform for community debate and bring together end users, EPCs, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers to discuss the challenges ahead. Click here to read a range of views and opinions from experts from the conference.

The Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) Responds to the White House Announcement on Reducing Emissions

The White House today announced that it will seek to limit methane emissions from existing sources in the oil and gas industry through forging a relationship with Canada to implement the historic Paris Agreement by developing mutual environmental control regulations. As the leading trade association for American and Canadian sealing device manufacturers, the Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) recognizes the importance of addressing these challenges and believes sealing and containment device technologies can play an important role. Cost-effective, American and Canadian made sealing device technologies are a proven solution to limiting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The sealing industry looks forward to working with the oil and gas industry to address this issue.

The FSA and its members are committed to being a technical resource in addressing these issues. FSA members welcome the opportunity to work with industry to drive emissions reductions in a positive way.

Click here to read the announcement from the White House.

Founded in 1933, the FLUID SEALING ASSOCIATION® (FSA) is an international trade association focused on promoting a safe, clean environment for society and safe workplaces for employees. Member companies are involved in the production and marketing of a wide range of fluid and air sealing devices primarily targeted at the energy and industrial process markets. They support the development of related standards and provide education in the fluid sealing area.

For further information, visit their web site at www.fluidsealing.com. Also, be sure to look for the FSA on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.

FSA Gasket Division to Present at VMA Technical Seminar

On March 10, 2016, FSA Gasket Division Member, Mike Shorts, will be making a presentation at the 2016 VMA Technical Seminar being held at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans, LA. The presentation is titled: Gasket Performance Standards and Application Towards Fugitive Emissions Reductions. The abstract of the presentation is as follows:

With the advent of new gasketing technologies in the market over the past decade, standards have had to evolve in order to satisfy some of the performance specific parameters being addressed by these new technologies. Though basic gasket data can often suffice in standard application design requirements, advanced gasket data parameters and behavioral knowledge are required in order to meet modern and future fugitive emissions reduction standards. This presentation will provide an overview of the updates in gasket performance standards and how manufacturers apply those towards applications requiring significantly lower emissions. Participants will learn the concepts that gasket manufacturer applications engineers use to decode an application and make relevant recommendations to the end-user and/or installer. This level of understanding is also applied to gasketing applications in the valve OEM market as valve manufacturers are constantly developing their valves to meet tighter emissions requirements. As a collaborative partner with the EPA, DOE, and WTO, the Fluid Sealing Association is committed to understanding the leading regulatory issues facing valve manufacturers and industrial facilities in relation to emission reduction strategies and requirements.

Click here for more information on this VMA event.

What to Consider When Upgrading or Changing Pre-Specified Gaskets

Users at some point in their gasketing careers will have to consider alternative gaskets (styles and/or manufacturers) to replace those currently approved and installed at their facilities.

Before they can evaluate the gaskets, they must ask, “Why do I need or want to change my gaskets?” The answers will vary depending on the person, department, facility and corporate environment.

One individual’s specific “why” may be different from another’s within the same company, even if they have access to the same information. But only once the “why” has been established can the “what” to change be considered.

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