Mechanical seals are considered a good alternative to packing. There has been a tremendous advancement happened in the field of the face material. Also, elastomer selection has become instrumental in making cartridge seals a superior choice.
We know the challenges in conventional seals. They were required to align and set on the sleeve of the pump or shaft. It was an unnecessary burden on the operator.
If not done timely, it resulted in increased margins. It used to give errors and even premature failure of the seal.
Since the emphasis was more on reducing maintenance costs and downtime during the recent years, cartridge seals quickly became the seal of choice.
What is a cartridge seal and how does it function?
A cartridge seal is a self-contained unit. It has components like a shaft sleeve, gland plate, and seal. The unique design of the cartridge seal makes it free from installation errors.
Since this seal is presented on its own shaft sleeve, there is no damage caused by it to the pump unit like conventional seals.
The biggest reason for conventional seal failure was the installation error caused by untrained operators. It is eliminated by a cartridge seal.
Cartridge seals: some important points
Cartridge seals are a modern option to conventional seals. When we use them, it is important to make sure that the unit is in good operating condition. It minimizes any future problems, for example, a leak after the seal installation.
One should check that the bearings are well within the tolerance limit. The shaft is straight, and the impeller is in balance. Check whether there is any effect of cavitation.
Cartridge seals offer a level of standardization regardless of the OEM machine that is being sealed. They do not cause any drop-off in seal performance when shifted from the conventional seal.
How is a cartridge seal installed?
The installation process is quite simple. Just you have to slide the cartridge seal over the shaft when the pump is being built. The gland ports should be aligned. Fix them tight. Tighten the collar set screws and remove the spacers.
Remember, the cartridge unit is fitted onto the pump shaft as a whole, pre-built assembly. Therefore, it needs fitting adjustments.
The maintenance costs are low and seal installation errors are minimum. The seal life is optimal.
All these factors make cartridge seal a superior and more convenient choice as compared to conventional seal.
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