July, 2002

200201JulAll DayThe seal that didn't performProcess Safety Beacon | Understand the special features of the mechanical seals in your facility - monitor their performance and take care of themLessons:Asset integrityLanguage:EN Origin: CCPS Document Type:Bulletin


Here’s What Happened:

The pump in this picture was destroyed because the mechanical seal failed. The light hydrocarbon being pumped was released; it ignited and burned – causing extensive local damage. No one was near the pump when the fire occurred, so there were no injuries.

Many, probably most, pumps have some type of mechanical seal. In GENERAL terms, it is a device which prevents significant leakage of the fluids in pumps and other powered machinery items. Seals come in a number of different designs and a wide array of different materials of construction. While the function of a mechanical seal is relatively simple, selecting the correct seal for a given application requires judgment and experience.

© AIChE | Messages for Manufacturing Personnel


CCPSCenter for Chemical Process Safety