Figure 7: Parts of a Simple Seal Chamber
Seal chamber and Stuffing box both refer to a chamber, either integral with or separate from the pump case housing that forms the region between the shaft and casing where sealing media are installed. When the sealing is achieved by means of a mechanical seal, the chamber is commonly referred to as a Seal Chamber. When the sealing is achieved by means of packing, the chamber is referred to as a Stuffing Box. Both the seal chamber and the stuffing box have the primary function of protecting the pump against leakage at the point where the shaft passes out through the pump pressure casing. When the pressure at the bottom of the chamber is below atmospheric, it prevents air leakage into the pump. When the pressure is above atmospheric, the chambers prevent liquid leakage out of the pump. The seal chambers and stuffing boxes are also provided with cooling or heating arrangement for proper temperature control. Figure7depicts an externally mounted seal chamber and its parts.
The gland is a very important part of the seal chamber or the stuffing box. It gives the packings or the mechanical seal the desired fit on the shaft sleeve. It can be easily adjusted in axial direction. The gland comprises of the seal flush, quench, cooling, drain, and vent connection ports as per the standard codes like API 68
The bottom or inside end of the chamber is provided with a stationary device called throat bushing that forms a restrictive close clearance around the sleeve (or shaft) between the seal and the impeller.
The throttle bushing refers to a device that forms a restrictive close clearance around the sleeve (or shaft) at the outboard end of a mechanical seal gland.
Internal Circulating Device
The internal circulating device refers to device located in the seal chamber to circulate seal chamber fluid through a cooler or barrier/buffer fluid reservoir. Usually it is referred to as a pumping ring.
Mechanical seals will be discussed further in part two of this article series.
The bearing housing encloses the bearings mounted on the shaft. The bearings keep the shaft or rotor in correct alignment with the stationary parts under the action of radial and transverse loads. The bearing house also includes an oil reservoir for lubrication, constant level oiler, jacket for cooling by circulating cooling water.