Pump Specifications That Improve Mechanical Seal Performance
As the chemical, petrochemical and petroleum refining industries continue to experience a slower growth rate than at any time in the last 10 years, emphasis on cost reduction, equipment reliability and “the wat we do our business” have taken on new meaning. The former emphasis on big projects has refocused to cost reduction programs, revamps, energy balance programs connected with co-generation and debottlenecking projects. Although our business will continue to change throughout the 1980s, the challenges for more reliable, less costly to maintain and easier to repair and operate pumps will intensify. Thus, plant reliability and, more importantly, operating costs will continue to become more dependent on the performance of smaller rotating mechanical equipment. To meet this challenge, users have voiced their concerns for better equipment through the API 610 Sixth Edition, and a new API 541 standard on electric motors that will be released in the near future. Work is already underway on the rewrite of API 610 (Seventh Edition), in which the manufacturers and engineering contractors will play an important role. Users are establishing sophisticated seal testing programs to test several standard designs against modifications of these designs, under controlled conditions, in both water and hydrocarbon service. These tests have yielded some important recommendations that will improve standard seal performance [1, 2]. Consulting companies, such as MTI, have ongoing research programs for an advanced design deal for general use. Many of the major seal manufacturers have developed computer programs to study advanced design concepts. Use of the pump specification to stress the necessary changes required in pumps for improved seal performance should be adopted by the user. A consistent bid award to those that comply with specifications will let those that ignore specifications and bid the “same old competitive bid” take notice.
Ingram, James H. (1984). Pump Specifications That Improve Mechanical Seal Performance. Turbomachinery Laboratories, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from