What is the difference between Packing and Mechanical Seal ?
Published by Industrial Pump Parts Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Packing and mechanical seals are two commonly used methods for preventing fluid leakage in rotating machinery such as pumps. The main difference between the two lies in the way they work and the advantages they offer.
Packing is a type of seal made of various materials such as graphite, asbestos, or synthetic fibers. It is packed around the shaft to form a barrier between the fluid inside the pump and the atmosphere outside. Packing is relatively cheap and easy to install and maintain, but it can degrade over time, leading to leaks and requiring frequent replacement. Additionally, packing can wear down the shaft over time and cause damage to the pump.
Mechanical seals, on the other hand, consist of two mating surfaces (rotating and stationary) that come into contact with each other, creating a barrier to prevent fluid leakage. Mechanical seals are more expensive than packing but offer several advantages. They are more reliable, durable, and have a longer lifespan compared to packing. Mechanical seals also allow for better control of the fluid inside the pump, as they are less likely to degrade over time.
One of the major advantages of mechanical seals is that they can handle higher temperatures and pressures compared to packing. This makes them suitable for use in a wide range of industrial applications where high temperatures and pressures are involved.
Mechanical seals are also more efficient compared to packing, as they do not cause as much friction or wear and tear on the shaft as packing does. This results in lower energy consumption and longer lifespan for the pump.
In conclusion, both packing and mechanical seals have their own advantages and disadvantages. Packing is a cost-effective option that is easy to install and maintain, but it has a shorter lifespan and can cause wear and tear on the shaft over time. Mechanical seals, on the other hand, are more reliable and durable, but they are more expensive and require more specialized skills to install and maintain. The choice between packing and mechanical seals will depend on the specific requirements of each application, including the fluid being pumped, the operating conditions, and the desired level of reliability.