ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL E013
In the seal business this term means to control the environment in the stuffing box area to give the mechanical seal a better chance of operating without a premature failure.
The mechanical seal would prefer to seal a cool, clean, lubricating liquid. Unfortunately you are required to seal everything but that. With the proper use of environmental controls we attempt to change the fluid you are sealing into a cool, clean, lubricating liquid.
It turns out there are only a few things you can do in the stuffing box area to control the environment around the mechanical seal. As an example you can:
- Control the temperature in and outside the stuffing box. You can raise the temperature, lower it or keep it within certain limits
- You can control the pressure in the stuffing box. You might want to raise it to prevent a product from vaporizing or you might want to lower it to save the expense of going to a high pressure seal.
- You can control the pressure between dual seals. There are occasions when you will have to raise this pressure, lower it or keep it within narrow limits.
- You can replace the fluid in the stuffing box. The replacement fluid may be less dangerous, a good lubricant or just easier to seal.
- You can keep atmosphere away from the outside of the seal because the moisture in atmosphere can cause problems with some seal applications.