In the oil, gas and process industry, engineers and technicians must face the problem of maintaining a hermetic seal for a variety of industrial equipment. An example is flanges, which are the most common attachment method of one pipe to another pipe or equipment. Since the parts to be jointed are both rigid, they both must be perfectly machined an aligned. They also must maintain this aligned position during changing service conditions in order to maintain a seal. This can be difficult to achieve given the nature of alloys used in equipment, the fluids to be contained, as well as process variables (such as vibration, temperature variations, wear and chemical compatibility) and cost constraints (man hour maintenance time, cost of products and downtimes).
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The Mechanical Seals Division will be meeting on October 26 in Fort Worth, Texas. Discussion topics include upgrades to the Life Cycle Cost tool, including a new pump version. Updates will be given on the new KnowledgeBase and development of new content. This division is involved in activities in the STLE, BHRG, KCI Pump Summit, and the Turbomachinery Technical Conference. The FSA’s Technical Director, Henri Azibert, will lead a discussion on FSA and Hydraulic Institute joint webinars, Pump Summit presentations, Texas A&M Pump Symposium short courses, and opportunities to partner with API. Mr. Azibert will also present updates on other industry standards related to this division.
The Membership Committee held a conference call on August 3, 2017, to review a list of prospective members and the status of any communication with them. All prospective members are being encouraged to attend the FSA Fall Meeting on October 24-26 in Fort Worth, Texas. This committee will hold its next conference call on October 10.
The Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) has announced the launch of their new website feature, KnowledgeBase. The content is developed and maintained by the members of the FSA Mechanical Seals Division as a service to manufacturers and users of mechanical seals. It can be accessed at www.fsaknowledgebase.org or through the FSA’s website at www.fluidsealing.com, and currently offers over 35 files of content and videos, each covering and explaining specific topics.
Safe, reliable and cost effective operation of mechanical seals and their support systems depend not only on the product design and materials of construction but also on the proper specification, application, and maintenance of the products. The FSA has created a digital knowledge base that provides easy navigation to key information to educate and inform users on these topics.
“The FSA KnowledgeBase is intended to be a vital source of highly reliable technical information regarding mechanical seals and support systems. Anyone who has an interest in improving their seal knowledge and remaining abreast of the latest mechanical seal industry best practices is encouraged to reference this as their primary source of information,” said Jason Ferris, Chair of the Mechanical Seals Division. “As the FSA seeks to continue to enhance the value provided by this tool to the mechanical seal user community, we encourage users to provide feedback on how the FSA KnowledgeBase can be improved by submitting input through the available link on the KnowledgeBase homepage.”
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In 1996, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory’s Advanced Test Nuclear Reactor operators manually shut down the reactor after noticing pressure oscillations. A control valve, which was sluggish in responding to input from the pressure control system, caused the fluctuations.
A root-cause investigation revealed that mechanics had adjusted the valve packing gland according to the vendor technical manual during the outage, tightening it because it had a visible leak. The action resulted in higher friction on the valve stem, which caused the valve’s sluggish response.
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