August 2018

Special Focus: Fluid flow and rotating equipment

High-pressure water pump mechanical seal failure investigation

To mitigate leakage, mechanical seals are one of the most critical components for centrifugal pumps.

To mitigate leakage, mechanical seals are one of the most critical components for centrifugal pumps. The typical design life for a mechanical seal is 3 yr. As such, premature failures need to be analyzed to identify the causes of the failure. The following is a case history of a mechanical seal failure for the non-drive-end (NDE) seal of a high-pressure water pump. Three 200-hp, high-pressure (HP) water pumps had pressure fluctuations in the seal chamber on the NDE mechanical seal during commissioning. The first-pass reverse-osmosis (RO) HP water pumps are six-stage centrifugal pumps. The pumps’ parameters are detailed in TABLE 1. Background

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