Abrasive media comes in many forms—from mining slurries to wood pulp and even substances as seemingly mild as liquid chocolate. This diversity rules out a one-size-fits-all solution for abrasive pumping applications. However, today’s broad range of materials, from carbon fiber packing to graphite-filled polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) bushings, includes products capable of meeting an equally broad range of abrasive wear requirements.
Carbon Fiber Packing
Few materials offer the abrasive resistance and heat dissipation of carbon fiber yarns. Braided compression packing made from this material excels under extreme conditions, including exposure to a variety of chemicals, temperatures approaching 850 F (454 C) in oxygen-rich atmospheres (up to 1,200 F/649 C in steam) and shaft speeds in excess of 4,000 feet per minute (fpm).
The strength of carbon fiber yarns combined with their ability to draw heat from pump shafts make them the material of choice for resisting abrasive wear. Unfortunately, they do not seal as well as graphite foil packing. Upon closer examination, however, the speed and temperature capabilities of these two materials are similar.
Consider this hypothetical scenario: An abrasive pumping application is under control using carbon fiber, except for excessive leakage across the packing set. Depending on the nature of the leaking media, it may not be desirable to have it pooling on the plant floor. Even if it is just water, excessive leaking media is lost profit. If the leakage is clean, the carbon fiber packing is effectively excluding abrasives.
Carbon Fiber Rings and Foil Packing
When dealing with clean media, graphite foil packing becomes an option. At a subsequent repacking, it may be advisable to use just two carbon fiber rings in the bottom of the stuffing box and use graphite foil packing for the remaining rings. Continue reading Pump Packing for Abrasive Materials→
Garlock Style 215 Helps Steel Products Manufacturer With Harsh Acids
Garlock Style 215 Expansion Joints are PTFE concentric spool-type flexible couplings that are designed to reduce noise and compensate for expansion, contraction, and minor piping misalignment in chemical processing, air conditioning, and heating systems.
The complete assembly includes a fluorocarbon resin PTFE body, electroless nickle-plated ductile iron flanges, polyethylene-covered restriction zinc plated bolts, and stainless steel corrosion-resistant reinforcing rings.
South American manufacturer of flat and long steel products
Construction of two new facilities including a hot rolling mill.
The plant was in need of expansion joints that could handle chemicals on their pickling lines. Pickling is a metal surface treatment used to remove impurities, such as stains, inorganic contaminants, rust or scale from ferrous metals. A solution called pickle liquor, which contains strong acids, is used to remove the surface impurities. It is commonly used to clean steel in various steel making processes. The line required an expansion joint with a PTFE tube to handle the pickle liquor which included hydrochloric and sulfuric acid, but a very short overall length for installation.
Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical process that occurs between two dissimilar metals, or between a metal and a conductive non-metallic material, when both are exposed to an electrically conductive media. In the case of a packing gland, it occurs between a metal component and the carbon or graphite packing. Under these conditions, the material that is closest to the anodic end of the galvanic scale will be corroded in preference to the one that is closest to the cathodic end of the scale. (See Table 1.) As the distance between materials on the galvanic scale increases, a corresponding rise occurs in the rate and the extent of the corrosion.
In a valve or a pump using packing made of either graphite or carbon, a galvanic reaction may be initiated as soon as any electrically conductive fluid, such as water, is introduced. Since graphite is more cathodic than the metals that make up valves and pumps, it is the metal that may be subject to corrosive attack.
Liquid Phase Needed
Even though a valve or pump may be packed with a graphite or carbon packing, many cases exist in which the metal parts will not be subjected to galvanic corrosion. For example, an electrically conductive fluid in a liquid state must be present for the galvanic reaction to take place. The temperature of a superheated steam valve prevents the accumulation of any significant amount of water, thereby nullifying the possibility of galvanic corrosion.
Another example of when galvanic corrosion protection may not be necessary is when the equipment is constructed of austenitic stainless steels (e.g., 300 series, 630, etc.). These stainless steels are much more resistant to galvanic attack.
On the other hand, the martensitic stainless steels (e.g., 400 series) are highly susceptible to galvanic attack. If a valve or pump is constructed of martensitic stainless steel and if it will be exposed to an electrically conductive fluid for any period of time, then consideration should be given to incorporating a galvanic corrosion inhibitor system into the carbon or graphite packing sets used to seal it.
The Garlock Family of Companies has launched a new fully-coated isolation gasket known as EVOLUTION.
EVOLUTION® Isolation Gaskets
The next generation of isolation gaskets, EVOLUTION®, features easier installation, tight sealing, high-temperature operation, no permeation, hydrotesting isolation, fire-safety and chemical-resistance.
Featuring a thinner, 1/8-inch design, EVOLUTION minimizes the difficulties encountered when attempting to install thicker isolating gaskets. The full-coating encapsulation allows the gasket to be hydrotested and left in the pipeline with the same isolation properties as before it was tested.
EVOLUTION’s coating is highly resistant to abrasion and impact while providing chemical resistance to hydrogen sulphide (H2S), steam, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other chemicals often found in oil and gas pipelines. This fully encapsulated coating also prevents the need for expensive exotic cores, as it eliminates contact to exposed metal. Continue reading Garlock’s New Isolation Gasket: The Future of Flange Isolation→
How the raised surface profile of PTFE sheet gasket helped a midstream oil and gas processor address leaky pipes
Bolted flange-gasket connections in process piping systems are common and given little thought – unless they start to leak.
Chronic leakage proved to be an issue for one of Garlock’s clients, a midstream oil and gas processor and services provider. The site processes, stores, and transports natural gas, liquefied natural gas and petroleum products. Garlock was brought in to provide a solution to the problem.
Successful connections are dependent on a variety of things, including the state of the flange surfaces, alignment, bolt and nut grade and strength, bolt and nut thread condition, lubrication, bolt tightening process, service conditions, and choice of gasket.
When a flange-gasket joint is assembled, the gasket must first be compressed to fill the gaps between the flange surfaces, creating a seal when system pressure is applied. Secondly, it must maintain that seal as the system is brought on-line and temperature and pressure escalate.
As the temperature increases, a gasket made of non-metallic materials such as rubber, fibre, PTFE and inorganic fillers is prone to lose thickness, that is, creep. And the thicker the gasket is, the
more it is prone to creep (1/8-inch thick gaskets creep more than 1/16-inch).
The two most important performance qualities of a gasket are its ability to seal and its ability maintain that seal. These can be indicated by industry standard tests for sealability and creep.
On the surface, this particular case study would seem to be an application of little complexity. However, the details of the joint gave rise to several issues that caused the user chronic leakage problems. Here are the service conditions and background of this particular case:
Temperature: 100°F to 120°F (38°C to 49°C)
Flanges and use: 18-inch Class 150 raised face flanges used in the pipe systems of cooling tower water pumps. Multiple gaskets are on either side of spool piece
Pressure: 100 psig to 150 psig (7 bar-g to 10.3 bar-g)
In a brine concentrator, an original competitor’s expansion joint failed upon start up.
Background of the Facility:
This facility is a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) power plant. Water is initially pumped from a well, pre-treated, used as process water, then reclaimed and retreated with a Brine Concentrator for use in their cooling towers. No city water is used and no waste water is disposed of from the site.
Brine concentrators use thermal energy to evaporate water, which is subsequently condensed and discharged as clean distilled water.
Brine Concentrators are also used in water treatment facilities in desalination plants, mining operations and well drilling operations in the oil & gas industry.
Size: 24 “x 10” FF
Temperature: 221° F
Media: Brine Slurry
Pressure: 30 psi
The original expansion joint unfortunately failed catastrophically without warning on start up. After consultation with the OEM of the Brine Concentrator, the recommendation was that only Garlock Expansion Joints be used for this aggressive application. The original expansion joints were replaced with Style 206 expansion joints which are built with a 4 to 1 safety factor.
Upon start up, Garlock Style 206 expansion joints offered superior performance, reliability and service life. This in turn improved plant safety, increased the mechanical integrity of equipment, and allowed Garlock’s customer to gain a competitive advantage in the market place.
The original article was featured on Garlock’s website and can be found here.
Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Garlock gaskets, packing, expansion joints, and more.
GYLON EPIX® is a family of gaskets that effectively seals a broader range of applications and is more forgiving during the installation process. It allows the end user to save valuable turn-around time, reduce re-work, and lower costs, helping them to finish ahead of schedule and under budget.
GYLON EPIX® features a hexagonal surface profile that provides the torque retention and blowout resistance of a thin gasket and the conformability of a thicker gasket. GYLON EPIX Style 3504 is a high performance, aluminosilicate microsphere filled PTFE sheet material designed for use in moderate concentrations of acids, and caustics, as well as hydrocarbons, refrigerants, and more.
Chemical Manufacturer and Distributor
Loading stations are very critical in the chemical industry as flanges are disassembled and reassembled everyday.
Due to the dangerous media being transported through the flanges there is a high risk of incidents and human harm, making it necessary for the gaskets to only be used once. For this reason the customer was looking to evaluate a solution that was more adaptable than the current gaskets being used.
Temperature – Ambient outdoor temperature
Application – Flange connections at the load/unload station (4 stations). Flanges EN1092-1 Type 01, PN10-40, 316 TI stainless steel
Media – Sulfuric Acid (Oleum) with a concentration of 94%
Pressure – 2 bar/29 psig
SOLUTION AND BENEFITS
GYLON EPIX 3504 PTFE gasket with Aluminosilicate Microspheres is specifically designed for use in applications where many acids and caustics are present, making it the ideal solution in the loading stations. GYLON EPIX 3504 performed exceptionally during the 110 day evaulation allowing the customer to continue use with confidence.
Gallagher is your source for all of your Garlock sealing needs. If you have further questions regarding the GYLON EPIX™ 3504 EPX, or any other Garlock products, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our engineering department is always ready to help you design a sealing solution to your toughest application!
The Style 204 family of spool-type expansion joints are manufactured with the industry standard narrow arch design. This style is intended to be used in dynamic conditions where both pressure and vacuum concerns are present.
Features and Benefits
Fully laboratory and field tested for long life and exceptional reliability
High pressure and vacuum resistance offer increased safety and ensure suitability for a wide range of applications
Single and multi-arch designs are available for a range of movement capabilities
Concentric and eccentric reducing configurations can be provided to join piping of unequal diameters
Available in a variety of elastomers and fabric combinations to meet the varied demands of temperature, pressure, and media
Pulp and Paper
Large South Eastern Paper Mill
A U.S. paper mill experienced multiple failures of expansion joints on the knotter screen pumps in the fiber area of the plant. The failures caused significant downtime and posed a safety hazard to employees working in the area.
Size- 24”ID (DN600)
Temperature- Less than 250°F (120°C)
Application- Knotter screen feed pump
Media- Black liquor with wood fiber
Pressure- Less than 65 psi (4.5bar)
A field survey determined that the expansion joints were experiencing significant elongation during installation. It was also evident that the pump and pipe flanges were not in parallel, creating angular misalignment. Additionally, the expansion joints were handling an aggressive media of black liquor and wood fibers, which collectively contributed to the failure.
SOLUTION AND BENEFITS
Through on-site troubleshooting and surveying of the expansion joints, engineers were able to recommend and design an adapter plate for the pump flanges to realign the pump to the piping. This allowed the plant to standardize the replacement expansion joints to Style 204 with GUARDIAN® FEP liner to be used in multiple locations. In addition, the mechanical bond of the GUARDIAN® FEP liner provided greater reliability than the adhesive bond of competitive PTFE lined expansion joints. Replacement cost and frequency has been significantly reduced as a result of this engineered solution.
The original case study can be found on Garlock’s website here.
Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Garlock. For questions about products or to learn more about rubber expansion joints, contact our engineering department.
Bacteria accumulation can ruin product and put consumer health at risk.
Bacteria accumulation is a serious issue in the food manufacturing industry – it can ruin product and put consumer health at risk.
While many know that Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is an excellent choice for use in diaphragms and gaskets, most do not realize that there exist varying grades of PTFE. Some lower cost PTFE offerings may contain an excessive volume of pores within their structure which can harbor organic contaminants such as bacteria.
To address this problem, a calendared manufacturing process is used. Calendared PTFE is a premium grade PTFE designed for use in aseptic applications requiring ultra-high purity standards. It is ideal for use in food, pharmaceuticals and a variety of clean markets.
Distinguished by an extremely low void content, calendared PTFE resists permeation and the accumulation of foreign matter, reducing the risk of harboring unwanted bacteria or residual media.
To achieve this, the unique manufacturing process orients the chains of PTFE in a lattice-like structure that reduces voids in the material and provides it with biaxial strength. This unique structure also delivers a very high flex life. When tested in an MIT Folding Endurance Tester, the flex life of calendared PTFE is four-times greater than conventional PTFE materials.
Unlike the skived process that is commonly used for PTFE manufacturing, the calendaring process produces uniform sheets of material with consistent physical properties. This gives calendared PTFE a renowned reputation for predictable performance and quality. The opposite is true for skived PTFE where variable properties lead to varying performance and reliability.
Gylon Epix’s patterned material provides enhanced compressibility for better sealing
Gaskets are ubiquitous components in a processing plant. Every flange, equipment joint and connection point will have some form of gasket to prevent fluids from compromising (i.e., leaking from) a process system. However, effective sealing can pose challenges. A new form of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gasket, Gylon Epix, already has successfully addressed a number of persistent problems at plants.
The gasket, which is available in 3⁄32-in.-thick, 60-in. × 60-in. sheets, features a raised hexagonal pattern (Figure 1). It exhibits enhanced compressibility over both 1⁄16-in. and 1⁄8-in. traditional gaskets, seals easily when compressed by flanges and maintains assembled bolt torque better than comparable 1⁄8-in. PTFE gasket materials.
Successes with Gylon 3501-E and Gylon 3504
Trials at three early adopters of the new material underscore its value.
Fatty acid production. A German manufacturer of oleo-based chemicals, including fatty acids, glycerin, fatty alcohols and fatty esters used in consumer and personal health products, was experiencing problems sealing a 29.3-in. (745-mm) outside-diameter spiral heat exchanger. A gasket located atop the heat exchanger was exposed to polysaturated fatty acid and coolant at a continuous temperature of 428°F (220°C) and pressure of 87 psig (6 bar). J-type clamp bolts fasten the lid to the heat exchanger. Spiral heat exchangers present challenges because the gasket must seal across the entire face of the lid, requiring a gasket that will efficiently transmit the force from the bolts across its entire surface.
The traditional PTFE sheet gasket was allowing leakage across the exchanger’s spiral passes, decreasing efficiency. The gasket exhibited cuts from the spiral separation bars and required frequent changes that disrupted manufacturing and decreased plant productivity.
Gylon Epix 3501-E was installed in December 2017 and, after six months of testing, concluded it sealed well. Upon disassembly in July 2018, it was found to be in good condition, with no traces of cuts, discoloration, brittleness or sticking to the lid (Figure 2). A new gasket was installed in July 2018, which now has completed a successful one-year trial; the gasket continues to perform well.
Phosphate processing. New or refurbished equipment generally seals bolted connections well. As the equipment ages, gaskets and flange surfaces help seal gaps caused by corroded, worn, misaligned or repositioned equipment flanges. At a Mexican acid processor, Class 150, 8-in. raised-face flanges of the inlets and discharges of phosphoric and sulfuric acid transfer pumps had become worn and corroded. Temperatures were 104°F (40°C) and pressures 57 psig (4 bar). The 1⁄8-in.-thick glass-filled PTFE gaskets didn’t consistently provide a tight seal. So, the plant applied mastic filler to treat damaged flange surfaces as a stop-gap measure.
Gylon Epix 3504 was installed in December of 2017; it performed successfully without the need for flange treatments or special installation handling. Its enhanced compressibility fills the gap of imperfect flanges. It performed well until its removal in September of 2018 when the pump mechanically failed for a reason not related to the gasket. The acid processor is adding Gylon Epix to its approved materials list because it worked without the need for mastic, was flexible and easy to handle, and performed with zero leaks.
Terephthalic acid manufacturing. A southeastern U.S. producer of terphthalic acid (TPA) was experiencing leaks with traditional glass-filled PTFE sheet gaskets on a pressure vessel operating at 230°F and 60 psig that has a 60-in. × 10-in. rectangular gasket joint opening. Large rectangular joints can have uneven surfaces due to warpage of the cover. In July of 2018, Gylon Epix 3504 was installed and is still in service as of September 2019 and performing well. The company has accepted the product into its system and is re-ordering.
The original article can be found here and was written by Jim Grago, PE, a principal applications engineer for Garlock.
Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Garlock. For questions about products or to see if Gylon Epix is the right fit for your application, contact our engineering department.