Seals

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Bearings in centrifugal pumps support hydraulic loads imposed on the impeller, the mass of the impeller and shaft, and loads caused by couplings and drive systems. They also keep axial and radial shaft deflections within acceptable limits for the impeller and shaft seal.

Gasket blowout is the most catastrophic of gasket failures. It usually occurs with no discernible warning and causes a sudden and significant release of internal pressure, usually accompanied with loud popping sound or whistle. Depending on the process being contained and/or the amount of stored energy at the time, the result can be fatal.

For 17 years, Pete Petrunich has been the authoritative expert on sealing technology.

Every month for the past decade, the Fluid Sealing Association’s technical director has coordinated the “Sealing Sense” articles for Pumps & Systems.

A basic electrical safety rule is that water and electricity do not mix. However, alternating current (AC) induction motors must function in or under water to operate pumps, mixers and aerators in industrial water and wastewater applications.

Process industries rely on vast piping systems and connected equipment that must be sealed safely to protect their employees, profits and the environment. Safely sealing these systems can be challenging, but failure to do so can result in serious problems—including injury and death.

Process industries rely on vast piping systems and connected equipment that must be sealed safely to protect their employees, profits and the environment. Safely sealing these systems can be challenging, but failure to do so can result in serious problems—including injury and death.

When a representative from a local distributor noticed a large amount of oil leaking from a semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill gearbox at a copper mill, he decided that a permanent solution to the maintenance issues caused by inefficient sealing methods was needed.

Dual gas-lubricated seals use a pressurized, nitrogen gas barrier—usually at a higher pressure than the pumped fluid—combined with lift features to separate the seal faces to a small, controlled gap. Lift features—such as spiral grooves, waves, T-slots and hydropad grooves—create aerodynamic lift with the barrier gas pressure and shaft rotation, which generate a high film stiffness.

Valve and pump packing performance improvement is usually approached from a procedure or specification process. Engineering and purchasing determine the parameters for the plant and create a procedure for selecting the packing type and how it is used. At many plants, this document is not often referenced or updated.

In the cover article for the September 2013 issue of Pumps & Systems, “A Big Picture Evaluation Can Produce Big Savings,” the author advocated a systems approach to pumping system efficiency improvements.

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Columns

This article is part of our ongoing series on The History of Pumps.

A reciprocating power pump, as depicted in Figure 1, is a displacement machine. It has characteristics that are different than a centrifugal pump.

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The legendary innovator was responsible for the design of more than 40 patented products during his seven-decade career.

During my time in New Orleans for the Siemens Automation Summit, I had the opportunity to tour Louisiana Sugar Refining, LLC (LSR) in nearby Gramercy, La. In Louisiana, sugar is a big business.

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