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An AIChE Publication

AESSEAL, Inc. (Rotherham,

U.K.; has unveiled a double-face mechanical seal
for bearing isolation, that corrects the
shortcomings of the widely used lip
and labyrinth seals, and costs less to
operate. Called the MagTecta-II
(Figure 1), the cartridge unit is said to
be the only commercially available
double-face seal that provides hermetic bearing isolation in both static
and dynamic rotating equipment for
vertical or horizontal shafts. This is
particularly useful in API sealing applications, as it complies with
European ATEX and API 610 v9
specifications for use in explosive areas and in centrifugal pump components where absolute containment of
lubricating fluids is required, says
Chris Rehmann, general manager of
AESSEAL, Inc.s MagTecta Div.
A combination of the MagTecta
seals and synthetic lubricants can
reduce the frequency of oil changes
in pumps and gearboxes by a minimum of 4:1 under ideal conditions,
and by as much as 50:1 under adverse conditions.
Unlike a lip seal, the MagTecta-II
does not rub against the shaft, so
there is no mechanical wear or shaft
damage. Furthermore, the design
does not include a labyrinth arrangement, which could seize parts with
close radial and axial running clearances and which allows moisture
ingress due to bearing-chamber
breathing. Instead, it hermetically
seals the bearing chamber by using
magnets to pull two stationary faces
(antimony-carbon and bronze-filled
Teflon) against a tungsten-carbide
rotary (Figure 2 and Table). These
faces are polished to 2.0 105 in.
so as to prevent fluid movement
across the moving face, using standard mechanical-seal technology.


Figure 1. The MagTecta-II is a magnetically

energized, double-cartridge seal that can fit into
the space occupied by a lip seal.

The MagTecta-II can be installed

in physical spaces that were previously occupied by labyrinth or lip
seals. It is designed to fit shafts
ranging in size from 5/8-in. to 11-in.
dia. with peripheral speeds up to 20
m/s (equivalent to a 4.25-in. shaft at
3,600 rev/min) and is inventoried in
1/16-in. and metric increments.
The MagTecta-II costs about
$100150/in. of shaft dia. vs.
$10/in. for a similar-sized lip seal.
But the high maintenance costs of
the latter due to shaft damage, frequent replacement and lubricant
leakage will often result in total lip
seal operating costs that are 35
times higher than that of the
MagTecta-II, says Rehmann.
One Michigan-based paper manufacturer was spending over $5,000
every 34 months to repair leak-induced damage to rectifier-roll bearing
housings furnished with lip seals,
says Bruce McCartney, president of
ProSeal, Inc., a rotating-equipment
consulting firm in Madison Heights,
MI ( Four
months after being rebuilt with firstgeneration MagTecta seals, no measurable water entry into the bearings
has occurred. Payback for the
MagTecta retrofit has already been realized, he adds.

1. Rotary seal face
2. Rotary elastomer
3. Stationary seal face
4. Stationary elastomer
5. Outer body
6. Outer body elastomer
7. Shroud
8. Magnet
9. Stationary seal face
10. Stationary elastomer
11. Circlip
* Ethylene propylene rubber

Tungsten carbide
Antimony carbon
Stainless steel
Phosphor bronze
Ni-plated rare earth
Bronze-filled Teflon
Stainless steel

Figure 2. Cross section of the MagTecta-II

shown in normal orientation.
Reproduced with permission from CEP
(Chemical Engineering Progress) May 2004.
Copyright 2004 AIChE. All rights reserved.


May 2004