FLOOD-GARD Offers Bearing Protection in Challenging Flooded Environments
Garlock has launched FLOOD-GARD Bearing Isolators for flooded applications. The patent-pending seal design provides bearing protection even in the most challenging flooded environments, extending the life of rotating equipment such as gearboxes, pumps, and motors.
“FLOOD-GARD™ allows Garlock to unlock value for our customers by taking industry leading bearing isolator technology, and advancing it even further, into a seal that excels in flooded conditions,” says Kevin Allison, Product Manager, KLOZURE®.
The latest addition to Garlock’s family of KLOZURE® Bearing Isolators, FLOOD-GARD™ is a revolutionary seal that combines improved safety and overall process efficiency with cost savings through extended equipment and bearing life. FLOOD-GARD’s Cam-Lock design provides excellent bore retention while allowing easy installation by hand, without the need for an arbor press. Other benefits include the ability to accommodate up to .015” of radial shaft misalignment and patented PTFE unitized construction that eliminates metal-to-metal contact, all while achieving an IP66 rating in most configurations — flanged, small cross section, step shaft and vertical.
Patented seal design provides bearing protection even in the most challenging flooded environments, extending the life of rotating equipment
Rugged, unitized construction for ease of installation
IP66 in most common design configurations
Available in standard and small cross section configurations
Substantially reduced installation time – NO ARBOR PRESS NEEDED
No metal-to-metal contact between stator and rotor
Handles up to .015″ of misalignment
FLOOD-GARD™ allows Garlock to unlock value for our customers by taking industry leading bearing isolator technology, and advancing it even further, into a seal that excels in flooded conditions.
A Lubrication Leak Doesn’t Always Mean a Seal Failure
A well-known technique for increasing pump reliability is sealing the bearing housing with non-contacting bearing isolators rather than contact seals. Because contact seals use contact as their sealing method, they have a more limited life expectancy, since they can wear at the point of contact or groove the shaft. When this occurs, lubricant will escape to atmosphere and contaminants will enter the bearing housing, leading to bearing failure. Though more expensive, bearing isolators effectively retain lubricants and exclude contaminants while providing a virtually infinite life expectancy. This increases mean time between repair (MTBR).
The most common perception of bearing housing seal failure on process pumps is lubricating oil leaking from the bearing housing. For most operators, the analysis is simple: no leaking oil means the seal is fine while leaking oil equates to failure. Though true for contact seals, the presence of leaking oil from a bearing isolator is most likely due to factors other than seal failure.
Following are some of the more common causes of bearing isolator lubricant leakage in process pumps.
Common Causes of Bearing Isolator Lubricant Leakage
1. Too Much Oil
It seems simple, but the greatest cause of bearing isolator leakage on process pumps is an over-filled bearing housing. It has become common practice for maintenance professionals to fill up to, if not a bit over, the maximum fill line. The thinking is that if leakage occurs, there will be extra lubricant available. This practice can inadvertently contribute to leakage. Fortunately, once returned to the proper level, bearing isolators will generally stop leaking and return to normal function. There may be some oil leakage as the seal clears itself of excess lubricant, but that should diminish over time.
Most bearing isolators have a lubricant return designed into their respective labyrinth patterns. This return needs to be installed at the bottom dead-center or six o’clock position of the bearing isolator for proper function. This allows oil to easily return to the sump. One of the most common causes of improper seal orientation is a lack of training or unclear installation instructions.
3. Obstructed Lubricant Return Path
Most modern bearing isolators are effective at collecting splash lubricant in their respective labyrinth patterns. Once they have collected the lubricant, they need a clear, unobstructed path to return collected lubricant back to sump. But the return path to the sump may be blocked by counter-bores in the housing, which were originally designed to provide a positive stop for pressed-in lip seals. The area between the bearing and the bearing housing seal may lack a drain channel. When this occurs, lubricant will accumulate in this area until the space becomes completely flooded and the seal leaks. To solve this, the area between the bearing and the bearing isolator must include an unobstructed return pathway to the sump. Relying on the lubricant to drain to sump only through the bearing will likely result in lubricant leakage.
4. Improperly Applied External Oilers
External oilers are extremely sensitive to position and must be installed on the proper side of the housing relative to the direction of shaft rotation following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Oilers must also be installed square and straight. The pipe connecting the external oiler to the bearing housing must also be sufficiently ridged to prevent vibration or shaking the oiler. Questionable installations of may result in over-filling of the bearing housing and subsequent lubricant leakage.
The forceful flow of air over a bearing housing can cause lubricant leakage by creating a pressure differential between the inside and outside of the bearing housing. Couplings and external cooling fans attached to pump bearing housings are a potential source of harmful air flow. Gapless, solid coupling guards that enclose the bearing housing seals with little or no gap around the bearing housing may induce leakage. While taking all required safety precautions, having some of the coupling and fan guarding accomplished by tight grating, rather than solid surfaces, allows for better air flow and helps prevent pressure from building.
6. Improper Non-Contact Seal Selection
Some bearing isolators are designed specifically for grease lubrication, others for oil or oil mist. There are some designs that can handle all lubrication types in a single design. In some instances, benefits can be achieved by designing bearing isolators for specific applications rather than relying on standard catalog items. For example, in pump bearing housings with a high degree of lubricant splash, designing the labyrinth pattern to communicate directly with the lubricant return path can greatly increase effectiveness. Experienced bearing isolator providers can design engineered-to-order seals quickly and economically, and ensure the seal design addresses any concerns and is applied to provide the best reliability possible. Time spent on up-front engineering tasks is well worth the effort, and assures the bearing isolators will perform as intended.
The advantage of non-wearing bearing isolators is that once properly applied, they perform essentially trouble-free for years with no degradation in performance. The challenge is that they require a bit more attention to application details. Taking the time to check a few simple parameters will go a long way towards ensuring trouble-free operation.
ISO-GARD bearing isolators offer exceptional bearing protection for pumps, motors, and bearing supported industrial equipment under the harshest conditions.
ISO-GARD products are constructed using a filled PTFE material which provides excellent chemical resistance.
Food – Poultry Processing
A diversified food processing company, with facilities located
throughout the US.
The customer had persistent problems with sealing the bearings in their non-metallic feather picker housings. Using standard lip seals, and with a monthly maintenance program, they still encountered frequent failures. With 72 assemblies (each with two sealing locations) this had a detrimental effect on manufacturing efficiency, and placed a significant burden on the maintenance teams.
Poultry feathers were getting under the lip seals and into the bearing housing, causing frequent and unexpected failures. Daily wash-downs also used a chemical cleaning solution that could also damage the bearings if not sealed correctly. Additionally, there was limited space available for any modification of sealing element.
Meat processing environments are highly regulated by the FDA, so any manufacturing changes must be carefully controlled. Therefore the customer required close support to ensure that any changes could be implemented with full confidence.
PUR-GARD™ bearing isolators offer the ultimate rotating equipment sealing solutions for the food processing industry. Manufactured with materials that are FDA compliant, metal detectable and x-ray inspectable while utilizing a patented IP66 design, Garlock PUR-GARD™ is a revolutionary seal that combines improved safety and overall process purity with cost savings through extended equipment and bearing life.
Features & Benefits
Patented labyrinth design provides bearing protection even in the most challenging environments, extending the life of rotating equipment
Unitized construction will not come apart during installation
IP66 in most common design configurations
Non-contacting design reduces shaft drag and energy consumption
Available in a broad range of configurations
Substantially reduced installation time – NO ARBOR PRESS NEEDED
No metal-to-metal contact
Metal detectable and x-ray inspectable
Rotating equipment (pumps, motors, gearboxes) exposed to heavy wash down and/or zone 1 and 2 applications.
Orion’s Path to Innovative Bearing Protection Technology and the Issuing of their Patent
Since the opening of Orion Engineered Seals in 2011, their team has been working tirelessly to ensure they have the most innovative products available to increase the reliability of rotating equipment. Among their various product lines, it is their patented Bearing Protection Device (BPD) in its many design variations that separates them from their competition. In March of 2017, after a long yet rewarding process, they were issued a US PATENT for their robust and distinctly innovative Bearing Protection Device (BPD) technology. There is so much they could say about why their products stand above their competition, but today we’re going to focus specifically on the team behind the BPD and why Orion has been so successful.
Todd Brickson, Director of Engineering has been working in manufacturing for over 25 years and is enjoying the fruits of his hard work. When designing the BPD device he had a few key points going through his mind.
To create the most effective, innovative, and efficient design in bearing protection
How can we be innovative in the market and create something that has never been seen before
Develop multiple internal layers of contaminant control that would surpass any design available in the market today.
The Orion Engineered Seals Bearing Protection Device (BPD)
The Orion Engineered Seals patentedBearing Protection Device (BPD) represents state of the art bearing protection technology which provides maximum protection against contaminants while maintaining lubrication in the bearing. It is the premier non-contacting bearing protection device on the market today.
The BPD was designed with an understanding of the nature of the bearing housing environment under all operating conditions and utilizes the laws of physics to create what has proven to be the best performing and most cost effective way to protect the bearings of your rotating equipment. Every feature of the BPD is designed to work together as a system.
What Makes Orion’s Bearing Protection Device (BPD) Better
Two Vertical Internal Chambers – The Orion BPD utilizes the laws of physics with the vertical alignment of the internal chambers to create the most effective and efficient bearing protection device on the market today.
Internal Static Elastomers – BPD is the only true non-contacting device with two internal static elastomers, eliminating the potential of dynamic o-ring hangup.
Contaminant Exclusion – With double exclusion chambers, the Orion BPD can exclude the higher volumes of contaminant, ensuring longer bearing life.
Angled Oil Return – With an angled oil return, the Orion BPD offers enhanced return flow and higher volume capacity with no oil leakage.
Angled Interface – While competing products offer a straight interface, the Orion BPD features an angled interface, giving the contaminant direction and flow to expel more efficiently.