Flex-A-Seal has long held a reputation for solving industry’s toughest sealing challenges. So when an international chemical corporation with a mining facility in Wyoming approached us with a unique sealing challenge for a Morris/Goulds 36” Double-Ended Axial Flow pump that was processing sodium bicarbonate slurry, we were immediately excited to help them find and implement the perfect solution.
As we discussed the technical specifications with the chemical company, it became clear the Flex-A-Seal Style 85M Heavy Duty Split Cartridge Mechanical Mixer Seal would be a viable, cost-effective solution. Jesse Baumgartner, a Flex-A-Seal Technical Sales representative, provided the following synopsis of the on-site split seal installation.
June 16, 2015
The Flex-A-Seal installation team of Burt Ploof, Doug Strahm, Matt Jensen, and Jesse Baumgartner arrived at the facility for a safety briefing and to assess the installation site for the Style 85M. As technicians cleaned accumulated slurry out of the outboard side of the stuffing box, we discovered a large gouge on the inboard side of the stuffing box face. It was decided the plant’s welder would build up the damaged area and then “line bore” it back into tolerance. This repair delayed our seal installation to the next day.
June 17, 2015
After the weld repair was completed, we proceeded to install the seal’s spacer/bushing assembly, and then the shaft sleeves. We then moved on to the installation of the adapter plates and seals. To accommodate any axial movement as technicians set the bearings, we held off on tightening the seal set screws and gland bolts.
Setting the Bearings
The inboard side came together well with a small gap (1/8” – 1/4”) left between the nose of our shaft sleeve and the nose of bearing housing lip seal retainer ring already in place.
The outboard side proved more problematic. After the bearing had been set and the technicians attempted to attach the lower half of the housing, we discovered the solid lip seal retainer ring was touching the shaft sleeve. This contact prevented the installation of the housing’s halves. To complete their portion of the installation, the technicians machined the housings, enabling the halves to slip past the lip seal retainer ring body. It was late in the evening when the Flex-A-Seal installation team finally had the opportunity to lock down the clamp ring’s set screws and remove the set clips. The technicians then connected the flush water.
June 18, 2015
We were informed that the system would not be initiated during the day and as such, we were not present on site. However, plant technicians aligned the drive sleeve and set up the belt assembly during the evening.
June 19, 2015
The team received a phone call to return to the plant where we determined the shaft sleeve had moved out 1/8”. The old lip seal retainer ring was removed, the shaft sleeve was pushed back, and the clamp ring and the sleeve set screws were reset to their proper positions. In addition, the plant technicians requested a material change to hardened steel set screws, and ‘divots’ were machined on the shaft sleeve to ensure these screws would not slip when tightened. Once everything was in place, the pump and seals were started up and proceeded to operate according to specifications.
As of the time of writing this post, the seals continue to run successfully and the plant has ordered a second set for their facility.