Mechanical face seals are commonly used in commercial and industrial applications to prevent process fluids, including liquid and/or gas, from escaping a mechanical system, as well as to keep environmental particulates from entering. Face seals are often used where a rotating shaft passes through a housing. In the typical face seal configuration, the seal face and the shaft surface are in constant contact, with the shaft turning under the seal face. The carbon/graphite materials used in mechanical face seal design will vary by application.
Types of Face Seals
- Contacting (rubbing)
- Non-contacting (film-riding)
Stein Face Seal Innovations
One of the boundary conditions some mechanical seals face is a lack of lubrication in the contacting interface between the sealing faces. Using state-of-the-art design tools, Stein has developed innovative face-seal technologies that prevent the damage caused by dry-running, face-to-face contact. These custom design features in the mating faces offer many benefits over traditional face-seal technology. As the seal ring rotates, buffer fluid, oil, or gas is forced between the sealing faces. In the resulting gap, the barrier fluid effectively keeps process fluids from leaking while creating hydrodynamic lift.
Stein Seal engineers have helped increase the effectiveness and safety of modern face seals with a number of patented innovations, including:
- Advanced spiral-groove designs
- Hydrodynamic lift-off geometry
- Inward and outward pumping designs
- Bi- and uni-directional non-contacting lift-off seals
Key face-seal features
- Low-heat generation
- Low friction
- Reduced wear
- Efficiently managed radial shaft movements and low-leakage rates.
With Stein face seals, leakage rates remain constant over the life of the seal, ensuring consistent, reliable sealing. They are pressure-balanced for higher delta pressure capability and decreased heat generation, contributing to an increase in seal life. Furthermore, face seals by Stein are designed to tolerate sudden pressure reversals, such as in chemical gas applications.
Stein face seals at work
Stein Seal face seals can be found hard at work worldwide. They are integral to gas turbine engines and oil refineries, where they are used in alkylation, flare gas recovery, and the processing of crude oil and wet gas process. Also, in the petrochemical industry, they are essential to applications involving polypropylene, ethylene, styrene, propane, isobutane, carbon monoxide, methanol, synth gas, ammonia refrigeration, and others.
Common face seal applications include gearboxes, aircraft engine main shafts, compressors, pumps, and propulsion systems. Quickly and easily installed or removed. Stein’s cartridge design makes replacing the face seal assembly highly efficient and economical, compared with traditional multi-component designs.