Tempco Blog articles

How is made a mechanical seal?

How are made mechanical seals, and how do they work in pumps? When I first started working as a technician, I was wondering how it was possible for a mechanical seal to avoid leakages of fluids on a rotating shaft. This is in fact the purpose of a mechanical seal, to avoid the leakage of liquids on a rotating part, functioning as a seal where there is a rotor that gets water under pressure.

And so, how is made a mechanical seal? A mechanical seal is basically made by two parts, one fixed and one rotating. The fixed part is mounted on the main body pump, it achieves sealing through an O-ring and has a grinded and very smoothed surface that gets in direct contact with the mobile part.

The rotating mobile part is mounted on the shaft, and so this is integral with it. Also in this case, sealing is achieved with an O-ring, so a classical seal, on the shaft side. The seal between the two parts is ensured by the contact between the surfaces that are so very much smooth that avoid any fluid’s leakage, being it both water or oil.

Mechanical seals can be made in different materials, depending on the kind of fluid to be pumped and also on the temperature levels involved. Based on the type of fluid treated, and with increasing temperatures for example with oil and aggressive fluids, the constructive materials of the seal must ensure the proper resistance.

The materials undergo a very high friction: in fact, a two pole pump works at 2.900-3.000 rpm, generating a very high rubbing between the two parts. That’s why mechanical seals are usually cooled by the fluid itself or, in more extreme applications, by fluxing systems aimed to maintain temperatures at affordable levels.

The fluxing of the seals is not only necessary to maintain temperatures at acceptable levels, but also to create a lubrication layer, let’s call it like this, between the two surfaces. With the rotating speeds involved, and being the surfaces so much smooth, without a proper lubrication the two surfaces could seize up indeed, and therefore get ruined and causing a leakage in the seal.

Finally, during the substitution of a mechanical seal, always remember to change also the seal on the main body of the pump.

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Sustainable refrigeration with asymmetric brazed plate exchangers

Sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are very actual topics among suppliers of solutions for the refrigeration sector. The new B series of brazed plate exchangers have been designed especially to offer a green solution aimed to reduce the environmental impact of refrigeration applications.

In addition to the measures aimed to replace the kind of refrigerants employed, the constructors of refrigeration equipment are indeed very committed in reducing the amount of gas within the machines. The B series brazed plate exchangers have a patented asymmetric plate design which optimizes the efficiency requiring much less refrigerant, with lower water pressure drop under the same working condition compared to different series.

B series brazed plate exchangers are also compatible with natural refrigerants and alternative refrigerant fluids R290, R32 and R454B with low GWP (Global Warming Potential), pursuing the target to cut CO2 emissions and reduce the environmental impact of the refrigeration sector.

Tempco refrigeration brazed plate exchangers B series

 

The series offers the following advantages:

  • Reduction up to 44% of refrigerant
  • Reduction up to 25% of water pressure drop
  • Increase up to 19% of water flow rate

A similar approach is also employed in modern air condensed machinery, that more and more are realized using a micro channel design.

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New Tempco Infographics, renewables for energy engineering

The new Tempco Infographic is dedicated to the growing market of renewables in Italy and worldwide. Following our previous infographics, focused on Process innovation with digitalization and Industry 4.0 and Enhancing industry thanks to automation and robotics, let’s now take a look on Energy which is the pumping core and moving power of all manufacturing processes.

The challenges of the climate change force the industry to find ways to empower sustainability for a responsible development, respectful of the environment. Energy is a central element in the climate strategy for every industrial sector, starting with the way energy is employed. Energy consumption must be more and more intelligent and efficient, reducing the amount of energy required by industrial production in every application field. Tempco is committed to deploy thermal energy recovery solutions and to increase energy efficiency in cooling, heating and thermoregulating applications in industrial processes.

But energy saving is not enough: at the beginning of the value chain of power generation, the kind itself of energy which is produced and consumed must change. Power generation from renewable sources must increase, in order to reduce and substitute fossil fuels which are the cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Tempco also supports the renewables market by designing and engineering solutions for thermal energy management and production efficiency.

Indeed, an effective sustainable growth is strictly depending on the increase of renewables in the global energy mix, including hydroelectric, solar, wind and bioenergy. Renewables are in fact the unique key for the success of current trends such as mobility electrification and energy efficiency in industrial processes.

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Pipings and industrial plants, be aware of ice!

The season is still being warm, but as usual during this period of the year is a good thing to talk about water and freeze in cooling equipments. As we all know, water is a peculiar fluid, which has a different behavior compared to other common fluids: when it freezes, water decreases its density, therefore expanding.

It happens because when water solidifies, ice particles acquire an hexagonal shape forming a precise geometrical configuration, which decreases density while increasing the volume. That’s the reason why ice floats over water at liquid state.

This phenomenon of volume increase its quite curious, but it can also be very dangerous for pipings and industrial plants, tanks or containers with fixed volumes. When water freezes and expands, they break. There are several cases of heat exchangers broken by frozen water.

How to prevent troubles? Clearly adding glycol to the water in industrial plants installed outdoor, that can reach extremely cold temperatures during the winter season. Or when fluids in the plant are cooled by a chiller at low temperatures near zero or below 0° C.

The concentration of the glycol depends on the level temperature to be reached, or the ambient temperature forecasted during the coldest time of the year. During maintenance intervention it is then crucial to periodically check the concentration of the glycol in the water, using dedicated equipments called densimeters, which also happen to be cheap devices. These allow to verify that the glycol concentration in the water is suitable for the level of temperatures involved.

Be very careful and aware, because ice breaks everything!

 

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Thermoregulation in plastic packaging for pharmaceuticals

From a first meeting for an intervention on plate heat exchangers within the revision of an hydraulic power unit, through the development of highly customized thermoregulating units. This is the evolution of the partnership between Tempco and a now long-term customer highly specialized in the moulding of plastic materials, for the production of packaging for pharmaceutical products.

The sector is a very competitive one, where fights on prices are very tough and orders are really gained over the cents. The customer has been able over the years to conquer his own share of the market thanks to the high quality standards of the production, combined with a very huge machinery installation.

packaging pharma termoregolazione

 

Following a first intervention for the real-time service on plate heat exchangers, as said above, the collaboration of Tempco with the customer evolved then also in the field of thermoregulation. Since longtime, the manufacturer was indeed looking for more customized solutions, and it found an ideal partner in Tempco’s thermoregulating units and our SFC – Standard Custom Flexibility engineering approach.

Starting with a standard unit, we implemented a series of adjustments in order to meet the high quality standards requirement of the customer. The thermoregulating units developed implemented several characteristics and features, such as:

  • Static relays for heaters control
  • Extremely low specific heat capacity of electric heaters
  • Highly reliable pressurized circuit with special expansion tank to avoid recurring cavitation and depressurization issues
  • Dedicated remote interface for the management of the unit using the same PLC of the presses

After a series of early testing, the choice of the units has then taken us to a contract for the continuous supply of thermoregulating units, which also includes a planned service program aimed to always guarantee maximum availability and efficiency of the plants.

Tempco scambiatore a piastre

Tempco centralina termoregolazione packaging pharma

presse packaging pharma stampaggio plastica

Injection moulding machine for plastic parts production, the thermoregulating unit is managed using the same PLC of the press

Tempco termoregolazione packaging pharmaceuticals

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Magnetic drive pumps to ensure safety in thermoregulation

Why choosing magnetic drive pumps in thermoregulation plants? In our Tempco thermoregulating units using high temperature diathermic oil we always prefer to use this kind of pumps, in substitution of classic mechanical seal pumps.

In this case we are talking about plants using diathermic oil at temperatures up to 250-300° C and also 350° C. Diathermic oil at these high temperatures is very dangerous and potentially detrimental, and it is therefore necessary to avoid any risk of oil leakage.

A magnetic drive pump is a type of pump that employs a magnetic coupling between the motor shaft and the pressurized oil within the rotor of the pump. Thus eliminating any kind of mechanical coupling. For sure this is a choice that entails higher costs, but with no comparison on the perspective of safety that it ensures.

Mechanical seal pumps for high temperature oil do also exist, of course, and they are also very good performing pumps. But when temperatures involved rise over the 180° C, in Tempco we prefer to opt for magnetic drive pumps. Using a mechanical seal pump it’s indeed always possible that issues happen, due for example to a bad management of the pump or for air infiltration, that can lead to cavitation within the pump.

Choosing a magnetic drive pump thus completely avoid all the risks of oil leakage, due to the fact that it eliminates the presence of mechanical seals within the pumping circuit of the oil.

 

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TCOIL plate exchangers in galvanic baths

The TCOIL plates we’ve supplied recently for an anodic oxidation plant are a further good example of the flexibility and the advantages offered by this special kind of dimple jacket exchangers.

In fact the order came from an important constructor of anodic oxidation plants which operates on the US market through a local facility. The customer is realizing a plant for a main aircrafts manufacturer. For the thermostatation of the treatment tanks and the galvanic baths, the constructor decided during the project of the plant to substitute classic coil exchangers with TCOIL plates.

Tempco scambiatori a immersione TCOIL dimple jacket

The final user has indeed the need to treat big parts and components, so that it was necessary to have the whole input section of the tanks available to insert the pieces. The solution using TCOIL plates offers the advantage to have a smaller and thinner thermal exchange system compared to bulky tube/coil exchangers.

We’ve realized 20 TCOIL plates of different sizes, taking further advantage of the great flexibility typically offered by dimple jacket exchangers to adapt the thermostatation systems to existing and yet designed tanks. The plates are fed with over heated water for the heating step, while refrigerated water is employed for the cooling cycle.

Construction material is AISI 316L with augmented thickness, in order to ensure resistance to the harsh working environment in which the dimple jacket immersion exchangers are aimed to be used, in presence of sulphuric acid within the electro-galvanic baths.

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Thermostatation of reactors in APIs production

The presence of Tempco’s thermostatation systems is becoming more and more distributed and widespread within the pharmaceutical industry. At the beginning of the summer, we have received a new order from a CDMO company (Contract development and manufacturing organization), which is a third-party company that develops and produces pharmaceuticals for big international corporations in the pharma sector.

The customer in this case is an important Italian Group that manufacturers APIs, which has selected our solutions for the fine regulation of recipes temperatures employed in reactors.

Tempco termostatazione reattori API pharma

A rack of cryogenic tubes (for deep freezing of cells).
White space on tubes left free for your copy.

The supply contract involves a complete set of plate heat exchangers, thermal exchange systems in a special version for API production with nickel brazing and ensuring mechanical resistance for pressure pulsations and impact pressure, aimed for temperature regulation of reactors employed in the laboratories.

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Cooling systems, preferring chiller, evaporative tower or dry cooler

Which cooling system is the better choice to obtain cooling water for production processes, among chillers, evaporative towers or dry coolers, is a very often requested topic. The choice depends first of all on the temperature level of the water required. Clearly, if water at 10° C is needed, or even at 0° C or under zero, the only way to go is a refrigerating group, or chiller.

But there are several halfway situations too, where cooling water required has slightly higher temperature levels, such as 20-25 or 30° C. Which still is cold water, but it can be obtained leveraging other kind of cooling systems. Each one offering its benefits and disadvantages, clearly.

The refrigerating group is the one that is less affected by climatic conditions, if properly designed. There are also chillers tropicalized, able to operate also at high ambient temperatures, and with to special equipments enabling operations as well during the winter season. We’re talking here about EC fans, that provide the adaptation of the condensation speed.

When cooling water is required at temperatures of 25-30° C, that’s when the doubts start, if it’s better choosing a chiller, an evaporative tower or a dry cooler. It all depends on the climatic conditions. An evaporative tower employed at latitudes typical of North or Central Italy, and Europe, allows to obtain cold water at a temperature of approximately 29-30 or 31° C. Here, a dry cooler struggles, just because it’s cooling work depend strictly upon the ambient temperature. So that during the summer season, when temperatures reach 30-35° C, it will be possibile to obtain cooled water at temperatures 5° C higher, and so that means water at 35-40° C. Furthermore, it’s true that during the winter season, or the mid-season, a dry cooler allows to have cold water at the required temperature.

In the comparison between a cooling tower and a dry cooler, the first one has the advantage to have an open circuit of the water, while dry coolers employ a closed circuit, with impacts on the performances. On the other side, having a closed circuit of the water means that there are no side effects caused by dust present in the external air, nor evaporation or water consumption, avoiding the need of refilling treated water.

However, with water in a closed circuit there is the risk of freezing during the winter, that could cause breaks on pipes, and thus requiring the employ of glicol.

It’s overall a complex theme, and the right solution has to be carefully evaluated case by case. A trend ongoing lately is to combine chillers with dry coolers, that during the winter season can easily replace the operations of the chiller, allowing to switch-off the compressors. With significant gains in terms of energy savings. The same dry cooling systems can be achieved using an evaporative tower, but taking care of interposing a heat exchanger, because the open circuit of the tower exposes water to contamination, and therefore cooled water should be treated prior to feed the industrial production process.

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