Mechanical Sealing vs. Gland Packing: Choosing the Best Sealing Option for Your Pumps and Valves

17 November 2022

Many industries can only carry out their day-to-day operations successfully if they maximise well-maintained pumps. Some industries that benefit from pumps are agriculture, construction, chemical processing, and food industries.

Through these things, they can conveniently transfer water, wastewater, chemicals, oil, sludges, slurries, and many more elements from one place to another without expecting any issues. Aside from the movement of these elements, pumps can also help in processing chemicals. They can even be utilised in large-volume fluid management and pressuring fluid.

Now, if your business operation relies heavily on pumps and valves, you may have to invest in the right sealing option. Two types of sealing that you can use are mechanical sealing and gland packing. Knowing their differences can help you choose the best option for you.

Mechanical Sealing

If your pumps have been designed to transfer hazardous liquid and chemicals from one place to another, you may have to opt for mechanical sealing. Mechanical seals are dependable when it comes to sealing harmful elements. They can also withstand abrasive fluids, making them your best option for pumps that tend to leak.

Mechanical seals not only avoid leaks, but they can also prolong the service life of your pumps. Since most mechanical seals are made from durable materials, they are expected to last for a long time. Their longevity can then minimise the need to service, maintain, or replace them regularly. They do not likewise consume too much energy.

Despite their benefits, mechanical seals still share some drawbacks that you might need to consider. First, they tend to have higher upfront costs than gland packing. They can also be difficult to adjust. And if these seals have to be replaced, you do not have a choice but to take your pumps out of service first.

Gland Packing

Gland packing has been around for a long time, helping industries to seal their pumps. Gland packing maximises a braided rope-like material packed around the pump’s shaft. The purpose of adding this sealing option is to deter fluid loss inside the pump. The working principles of gland packing make it a perfect sealing option for slurry pumps.

One great advantage of gland packing is it has a low upfront cost. It is also easier to install compared to mechanical sealing as it does not require the disassembly of the drive shaft. The turnaround time for your pumps when installing gland packing will be significantly shorter as opposed to the application of mechanical sealing.

One drawback of gland packing, however, is that it tends to wear out quickly. The short service life of gland packing can then affect your operational expenses since you have to maximise employees who must maintain, adjust, and replace it when necessary. It is also vulnerable to damage, especially with abrasive and dangerous liquids.

When choosing the sealing option for your pumps, you must consider the type of materials you will be transporting as well as their surrounding conditions. You must also account for the allocated budget for the sealing to ensure that your operations will not be interrupted due to financial issues. To gain access to these sealing options, you can contact us at Fluid Sealing.

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