December 2015

Turbomachinery

Advances in dry gas seal technology for compressors

Compressor owner-operators now have unprecedented and solidly verifiable options.

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff; Carmody, C., AESSEAL plc

Centrifugal process gas compressors, and also certain rotary compressors, require sealing elements between the pressurized gas-containing volume and the bearing assemblies that support the compressor rotor. A variety of different seal types and styles have been available for decades. In the majority of these seals, lubricating oil serves as the fluid that separates rotating from stationary sealing elements. The barrier oil for these “wet” compressor seals is typically introduced at pressures of approximately 30 psi (2 atm) higher than the opposing compressed process gas. Wet seals require a seal oil supply system that generally includes an oil reservoir, two or more oil pumps, filters, coole

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