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Advantages of Oil Tubing As A Mechanical Seal Support Material

Centrifugal pumps in chemical plants and refineries rely on mechanical seals to prevent fluid leakage. Every seal connection is a potential leak point and leaks can lead to unorganized emissions, asset damage, unplanned downtime, environmental issues, and safety risks. Therefore, attention must be paid not only to the mechanical seal itself but also to the entire seal support system, including the mechanical seal support material components.

Most plants have historically used carbon steel piping and many threaded connections as their seal support system. However, the 4th edition of API 682 recommends minimizing threads and connection points, leading the industry to move towards bendable piping systems as the seal support system of choice. API 682 4th edition recommends tubing as the mechanical seal support material to reduce potential leak points at the connection. This article will explain the difference between tubing and piping and the advantages of tubing as a mechanical seal support material.

The internal expanding sealing components consist of a seal, a sector support block, and a sector angle and are primarily used in hydrostatic testing machines for pressure testing of steel pipes. As it is designed to test from the inner diameter of the steel pipe, the seal ring expands during the test, enclosing the inner diameter of the pipe for sealing purposes. Its test head is smaller than Type D or Type C and less costly to produce. It is suitable for pressure testing of casing, oil and gas pipes, and other steel pipes.

Internal Expanding Sealing Components

Internal Expanding Sealing Components

Advantages of oil tubing as a mechanical seal support material

Today’s fluid systems have more stringent requirements than in the past. Modern processes place increasing demands on pressure, flow and temperature, but the basic piping technology and methods have not changed much. In addition, more stringent regulatory requirements and industry standards have made leak detection and prevention a higher priority.

Replacing piping with ducting is an effective way to deal with these more demanding process parameters and stricter regulations. Compared to piping, piping offers several advantages.

Ease of installation. Pipes can often be installed more quickly and more cheaply than pipelines. While pipes often require welding to effectively seal, pipes can be drawn into a seamless shape with minimal connections between components.

No elbows. Elbows allow for compact systems with smooth directional changes, and flow becomes more turbulent through the elbow than with pipes, resulting in smoother flow.

D Type Sealing Components

D Type Sealing Components

Dimensional accuracy. Unlike standard pipe tables, pipes are available in a wider choice of diameters and wall thicknesses and with tighter tolerances. Although the pipe dimensions are approximate and not tightly controlled, the wall thicknesses are much more uniform, allowing them to safely withstand higher pressures.

Better surface finish. The extrusion process gives the tubes a smoother, more consistent internal surface finish than pipes, resulting in better flow characteristics and better corrosion resistance when H 2 S is present.

Lower costs. The overall cost of a ducted system also tends to be lower than that of a piped system. Pipes are often cheaper than tubes, and although pipe fittings cost more than pipe components, piping systems as a whole save money in the long run because of less downtime and easier assembly and disassembly.

With improved flow characteristics, improved sealing capabilities, ease of installation and maintenance and reduced costs, pipes are often the best choice for mechanical seal support materials.