Compression Packing or Mechanical Seals

Understanding The Basics of Mechanical Seals Vs. Compression Packing

The most often asked question is what to choose for the pump sealing application; a mechanical seal or compression packing?

Well, both methods have some positive points and some negative points. The blog compares between the two choices and helps you in choosing the right one.

  1. Compression packing

Compression packing is still a preferred sealing choice in several rotating applications. It is a relatively cheaper alternative than a mechanical seal. Not only that, but the maintenance is also relatively simple.

However, the maintenance interventions are more frequent than mechanical seals. Some prominent benefits are as follows:

  • The compression packing is easy to install. The packing rings can be installed quickly. The equipment disassembly required is minimal.
  • The time required to get equipment back up and running is less. So, the downtime is also less.
  • The up-front cost of compression packing is lower than the mechanical seal. As the complexity and equipment size increases, the cost difference also increases.
  • Since the same compression packing can serve a variety of equipment, you need to spend lesser money in stocking and managing inventory.
  • This mechanism is more forgiving of shaft alignment and equipment condition. It means that the error tolerance is high.
  • If the application involves pumping of abrasive media or heavy slurries, then compression packing is the ideal choice. It can support the high-wear nature of these applications well. The potential misalignment of shaft and large size of the equipment can be easily supported by pump sealing.
  1. Mechanical seals

When the media being pumped has a health or environment hazard or safety threat; the mechanical seal is the right choice. It offers a superior leak and emission-free sealing than compression packing mechanism. Some prominent benefits are:

  • It has improved reliability and uptime of the equipment. Even if it is expensive than compression packing, it is preferred because of highly reliable sealing performance over the long-term. The total lifecycle cost is lower.
  • Mechanical seals require fewer maintenance interventions. The adjustment and repacking needs are quite fewer than compression packing.
  • Product loss due to leakage is less in mechanical seals. It is leak-free mechanism if installed well. Therefore, seals are ideal when the loss of media being pumped is not affordable.

Which sealing mechanism is ideal depends on the operating conditions and performance expectations. You need to have a careful consideration of the above factors. It is better to ask experts if decision making is difficult.

Leak-Pack is ISO 9001:2008 certified company and one of the best mechanical seals exporters, manufacturers  and suppliers in India, providing solutions to all types of leakages by manufacturing Mechanical Seals and Sealing Components as per customer’s drawings, samples or requirements. To know more about Mechanical Seal call on +91-(2739) 271592 or email at

Also Read:

Explain Mechanical Seal Basics and Seal Selection Process

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