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Reliable Operation and Sealing of Agitators

By Bernd Reichert, EKATO |

Mechanical seals, as required by most vessel agitators, are systems sufficiently complex to warrant a good understanding by engineers and appropriate training for operators To ensure safe and reliable agitator operation, the sealing of the rotating shaft is of fundamental importance. Depending on the operating conditions — such as pressure, temperature and speed — various sealing principles may be used. A comparison of their characteristics with the requirements for mixing shows that mechanical seal technology offers many advantages over other sealing methods. In particular, when hazardous substances are being mixed or an explosive atmosphere is present, the use of a mechanical sealing system is almost mandatory, especially if the mixing vessel operates at elevated pressure and temperature.   Agitator seal systems compared figure 1. The forces on the components of an agitator — including the seal — result mainly from the hydraulic loads on the impellers[/caption] A reliable mechanical design for an agitator (Figure 1) must take into account the hydraulic loads on the impellers, which in turn create the torques and bending moments that exert mechanical loads on agitator components such as the shaft,…
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