In any industrial process that makes use of pumps to move slurry, there is a fairly severe risk of damage to the pumps themselves, their seals and their bearings.
The reason for this is that slurry is made up of both solids and liquids, and when these come into contact with the moving parts of a pump and their related components, it can cause damage in a number of ways.
We will explore these sources of damage in more detail in the following paragraphs, but for now, it is enough to know that there is a solution out there, being used in factories and plants all over South Africa, that provide the perfect answer to the problem of protecting pumps, bearings and seals from the ravages of abrasion created by slurry being pumped.
That solution is the Xpel-It, expeller labyrinth seal, which has been designed to keep your pumps working efficiently, effectively, for longer.
Here we will explore how these expeller pumps can assist you with protecting your pumps from damage caused by slurry.
To do this we will take a closer look at what they are and who uses them, we will delve deeper into how pumps take damage when pumping slurries, and how you can benefit from using expeller seals to mitigate these dangers and suffer less downtime.
So, let’s get started by taking a look at what exactly the Xpel-It seal is, and how it works:
What are Xpel-It Seals?
The primary function of the Xpel-It seal is to work to minimise downtime on slurry pumping systems, that is generally caused by failures due to damage caused by worn parts, which have been compromised due to the act of pumping slurries of both liquid and solid particles.
The reason why they are so effective at this as a turnkey solution is that they combine the functions and features of both expeller seals and labyrinth ones.
In doing this, the Xpel-It seal acts to propel slurry particles before they have a chance to enter their second chamber.
This second chamber comes with a built-in lip-seal that effectively contains any liquid that has managed to get past the expeller, and has a labyrinthian design that results in creating a more difficult leak path for excess water to follow.
This, in turn, helps to prevent any liquid from making its way to the pump’s bearings, allo0wing them to retain their grease within their frame.
This pathway also effectively traps contaminants between the pumps rotor and stator, to ensure that they result in minimal damage to the pump.
This design essentially goes a long way towards protecting components of a pumping system from the ravages of abrasion and clogging.
Who Needs Expeller Seals
Just from seeing the way that these seals can effectively protect expensive pumping systems, it should be easy to see what types of industries could make the best use of them. In a nutshell, wherever pumps are needed to pump out flurries, there is a place for Xpel-It seals to work their wonders.
Some of the most notable examples of industries that can benefit from these seals include the petrochemical industries, the mining sector, as well as the drilling industries.
Let’s have a closer look:
The Petrochemical Industries
The petrochemical industries are highly reliant on complex pumping systems designed to synthesise chemicals, generally from crude oil.
Oftentimes, the materials they are working with are too dangerous to be handled by people, and so these systems are as important for efficiency as they are for safety.
Of course, the destructive nature of the chemical slurries pumped through these systems means that they put immense stress on pumping systems and their related seals and bearings.
And when these systems breakdown, the downtime can prove exceptionally costly.
Because of this, the use of Xpel-It seals provides businesses in these industries with the means to keep their equipment protected for longer.
The Mining Sector
The mining sector often needs to make use of high-capacity slurry pumps, and a lot of their usage is concerned with accessibility and safety underground.
They are particularly widely used when mines need to be drained, and when they are, liquid and solid particles are often pumped together as a slurry.
In the case of mining, solid particles may even contain valuable resources, making it all the more important to be able to separate them from water effectively.
So, for these industries, Xpel-It seals don’t only keep equipment protected from damage caused by slurries, but also ensure that resources can be extracted from the run-off.
The Drilling Industry
The drilling industry is faced by many of the same challenges as the mining industry when it comes to pumping slurries.
In these situations, the liquid needs to be pumped out of drilled holes, either from natural water sources, or water that has been pumped into the hole to aid in the drilling process.
This water, along with its mixture of solid particles, also needs to be extracted from the drilled hole as part of the process. And this is the exact type of slurry that Xpel-It seals are designed to keep from harming your pumping system.
Additionally, this slurry might contain core earth samples which need to be isolated and tested in some instances, particularly where drilling for natural resources are concerned.
Since these industries are also faced with the challenges that slurries place on their equipment, they can benefit greatly from using Xpel-It seals.
Why Seals Need Protection from Slurry
With all of this in mind, you might be wondering why machinery that has been designed specifically to pump slurries, might need protection from the very thing it is supposed to work with.
The fact is that bearings and seals from pumping systems do take eventual damage from slurry particles, and more often than not, it doesn’t even take that long for it to happen.
Slurries contain a mixture of solids and liquids. When pumped, these particles have a strong abrasive effect on pumps and their components, as the solids in the mixture cause friction during pumping.
Slurries will also gradually start to clog the flexing parts of mechanical seals in these systems, which in turn causes the rotating assembly to become unbalanced.
This will result in too much movement in the seal component, causing a reduction in operational efficiency, leading to a need for impellor adjustment.
The Benefits of Using Xpel-It Seals
With such a danger looming over your pumping systems with each use, it is easy to see why businesses in the concerned industries can benefit from using Xpel-It seals in their facilities.
But their protective power isn’t where their advantages stop, they can benefit different businesses in a multitude of ways.
These benefits include ease of installation, a massive reduction in downtime, cost-savings, a reduced need for maintenance, and the ability to save big on replacements.
Installation is Simple
Xpel-It seals are adjusted during manufacturing and shipped ready to be installed into pumping systems with relative ease.
Ease of installation is a fairly important part of the functionality of these seals since their primary function is to reduce the amount of downtime that systems suffer when being worked on.
Because of this, they are simple to install and remove should the need arise, either for replacements or their own maintenance.
Either way, when you need to have them installed or removed from your slurry pumps, you won’t have to suffer too much time away from operation.
Reduce the Amount of Downtime
The fact that they are easy to maintain and simple to install, makes Xpel-It seals remarkably effective at reducing downtime suffered by those plants and facilities that use them.
On the other hand, they also work to keep your pumping equipment and components protected from gradual wearing and clogging, which also adds to their ability to extend operation while effectively minimising downtime.
By working on two fronts in this way, since they make repair work simple and less necessary, they are ideal for those operations where every second of inactivity effectively costs a business money.
Xpel-It Seals are Cost-Effective
Xpel-It seals offer cost-effectiveness on a few fronts, namely; through reduced downtime, their own lifespan and their actual cost.
They’re remarkably affordable when compared to either expeller seals as well as when compared to labyrinth seals, and they offer the functionality of both. When you consider that they offer the value of both at an affordable price, it is already easy to see what makes them cost-effective.
Of course, they are particularly cost-effective when you consider how they save on downtime when compared to other solutions, and time is money after all.
The seals themselves are quite robust and long-lasting too, which means that it is unlikely that you will have to replace them frequently enough for the costs to affect your business significantly.
All of this totals to an incredible sense of cost-efficiency, coupled with unbelievable value; a great combination for improving your bottom line.
Reduce the Need for Maintenance
Let’s move away from general cost-effectiveness to discuss how Xpel-It seals actively work to save money for your business, regardless of what industry it operates out of.
Because of their protective power when combined with slurry pump systems, these seals go a long way towards extending the overall lifespan of your pumps and their components, which in turn creates larger gaps between needed maintenance tasks.
Of course, your system will still need maintenance from time to time if it is to be operated effectively, reliably and safely, but you will be doing a lot less of it with the assistance of an Xpel-It seal.
Save Money on Pump & Bearing Replacements
If there is one thing more expensive than sticking to a rigid and frequently conducted maintenance schedule, it is the actual cost of replacing worn or broken parts.
In slurry pump systems, these might concern the bearings or seals themselves that have taken damage, or have been bogged down and become imbalanced as a result of continuous operation while pumping slurries.
When replacing broken parts with OEM ones, the cost is even greater, even if it does offer better reliability and a longer lifespan for the component.
Still, these are necessary costs that just about any facility would rather find ways of reducing, that don’t have a negative impact on their operations by doing so.
Due to the protective power of Xpel-It seals, they are highly effective at maintaining the condition of crucial components in your slurry pump systems, which in turn means that they won’t need to be replaced nearly as frequently; if at all.
Contact First Seal Today for Details
Is your business on the lookout for a trusted solution that enables it to take better care of its pumps’ seals and bearings, why not give the Xpel-It expeller labyrinth seal a try in your facility?
To find out more about this excellent protective product, or to learn more about our other offers on seals and pumping equipment, be sure to get into contact with a representative from First Sealtoday, or visit our website for additional information.