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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On October 26, in Fort Worth, Texas, the Expansion Joint Division will be discussing the activities of the Ducting Technical Committee, which includes reviewing of material properties and specifications and guideline for application and selection. The Piping Technical Committee will discuss the updated technical handbook and educational activities and opportunities. The Division overall will continue their discussion on combining the Ducting and Piping Divisions and goals moving forward, including a membership drive and promotion of the FSA.
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.
The Gasket Division of the FSA will be meeting on October 26. They will discuss the development of educational webinars for end users and higher level training on subjects such as bolting and safety. The division recently released their Gasket Handbook, 1st edition. There will be updated on the SWG performance standard and ASME 16.20 and ASME B16.21. New projects for the division include a Gasket Life Cycle Cost Calculator, training seminars, and contributing to the FSA’s Sealing Sense articles.
The Marketing Committee will be meeting in October to discuss some key campaigns that they are working on. These include promotion of the KnowledgeBase, promotion of the FSA at industry trade shows, educational trainings, and activities with strategic partners. Activity on social media will continue, along with expansion of the FSA website. The committee will review guidelines for promoting members’ news and the suggestion of creating a “Why Work with the FSA” slide presentation.
The Marketing Committee discussed the Membership Value Campaign, which included letters written by FSA members with their personal reasons for their membership in the FSA and what they find is the value of that membership. The letters can be found on the FSA website under “FSA in Action”. The committee has also been overseeing promotion of the KnowledgeBase and the Fall Meeting being held in October in Fort Worth. The FSA has partnered with four trade shows being held later this year. Social media will continue to be used to promote all of the FSA’s activities.
The Program & Locations Committee met on June 6, 2017, to discuss the details for their meeting being held on October 24-26, 2017, at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. This meeting will be co-located with the Hydraulic Institute. They also asked that staff pursue a contract with the Hotel William Gray in Montreal, Quebec, on October 23-25, 2018 for their annual meeting.
The Strategic Planning Committee met on August 23, 2017, to define programs and actions needed in order to reach their current list of initiatives and coordinate activities with other FSA committees and divisions.
Internal strategic initiatives included deepening the perceived value of FSA membership to existing members, maintaining the financial stability of the association, expanding members’ engagement in association activities, and identifying areas of collaboration between FSA divisions.
External strategic initiatives included attracting new members, defining objectives to promote FSA as a technical leader in the industry, developing key industry partnerships, and defining priorities for the Government Affairs Committee under the new administration in Washington, DC.
Mechanical face seals are a complex combination of materials and design that form a system whose prime objective is maintaining the integrity of the pumping system, keeping what is inside where it belongs and preventing contamination from the outside.
From the simplest design to the most complex, the system must operate across a multitude of conditions (and often beyond what the original design intended) in terms of speed, contact loads and environment. Every component in the system is a vital link contributing to the system’s success or failure.
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Industrial equipment is subject to harsh conditions and even some abuse, but it is nevertheless expected to operate around the clock for extended periods of time. Typically, a measure of success is if no one can remember the last time maintenance was performed on specific process machinery.
The process must be uninterrupted to meet production goals, but it also must be contained to meet emission regulations. Containing the process not only controls emissions but also increases productivity, as the amount of product lost to the environment is minimized. When problems arise, the equipment design or manufacturing is usually the first line of inquiry to find solutions to the failure. However, that is not necessarily the right place to look for improvements.
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