The gland packing is a contact-type sealing element. Compared with other types of shaft seals, they are adjustable and suitable for use with pressures and circumferential speeds higher than those radial shaft seal rings are used for (see also Shaft seal).
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Difference Between Mechanical Seal and Gland Packing
Packing seals have been the most widely used sealing solution for many years. Packing seals use rope-like materials that wrap around the shaft of a pump, filling in dead space and minimizing fluid loss. Over time, however, fluid loss will increase as the gland packing material begins to wear down and may impair regular lubrication or reduce ease-of-replacement that is required to function properly.
Mechanical seals are preferred over traditional packing seals in diverse applications during which leakage problems should be avoided. Mechanical seals are more durable than their predecessors and are designed to take much more punishment. Basic mechanical seals use multiple sealing points to nearly eliminate any leakage issues.
While one sealing point stays fixed, another rotates with the shaft. Fluid leakage is stopped by either a wedge, V-ring or O-ring as the lapped faces collapse.
Whether you’re considering mechanical seal vs. packing seal solutions, look to DXP. We act as both mechanical seal suppliers and packing seal suppliers depending on what your situation requires.
When Should You Use Packing Seals?
Packing seals are typically the most economical choice for sealing solutions, which is why they still widely used. They are also easier to install than mechanical seals. Packing seals don’t require that you decouple the drive shaft, leaving a considerably shorter installation time than other types of seals.
Packing seals are also a bit more forgiving than mechanical seals. While pumps and agitators have large amounts of radial movement and a higher chance of misalignment, packing seals can adapt to the conditions and maintain their integrity.
A good example of an industry where packing seals are preferred is mining and ore processing, where packing seals are the economic choice and able to adapt to the large shaft movements and equipment sizes.
Gland packing are used for sealing in the following applications:
Stationary applications like tanks hatch cover sealing, manhole covers sealing, etc.
Used for reducing leakage along the stem in globe valve, gate valve, and ball valves.
Used for reducing leakage of the working fluid in reciprocating pumps.
Used for reducing leakage of the working fluid in rotating pumps like centrifugal pumps, and screw and gear pumps.
In propeller shaft sealing in life boats and on old generations of merchant ships.
All the above are entirely different applications, and hence the type of gland packing to be used also differs. Selection also depends on the nature of the fluid to be handled like temperature, pressure, corrosiveness, and suspended solids, etc. A correct choice of gland packing has to be made by the marine engineer.