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What is Gland Packing?

10/18/2013 10:37:23 AM | by Anonymous

Packing Gland

A gland is a type of stuffing box that is used to seal a reciprocating or rotating shaft against a fluid. The most common is the head of a tap called the faucet where the glad is usually packed with string which has been soaked in similar grease or tallow. The gland nut allows the packing material to be compressed to form a watertight seal and prevent the water from leaking up the shaft when the tap is turned on.


The gland at the rotating shaft of a centrifugal pump may be packed in a similar way and the graphite grease is used to accommodate continuous operation. Linear seal around the piston rod of a double acting steam piston is also known as a gland and is particularly in marine applications likewise the shaft of a hand or wind pump is sealed with a gland where the shaft exits the borehole.


Some other types of sealed connections are without moving parts and also sometimes they are called glands. For example, if a cable fitting or gland connects to a flexible electrical conduit to an enclosure, bulkhead or machine facilities assembly and prevents gas or liquid ingress.


Mechanical seals and gland packing are very important components of pumps and shafts. There are countless of engineering applications rely on these devices to function properly. Although packaging and pumps have similar functions by using either depending on the budget or personal preferences and most importantly they must meet the application requirements. An example, rotary pumps work best with seals because they are capable of treating, filtering and collecting fluid leakage. There are also applications where a packing is more appropriate choice such as settings with corrosive surrounding which happen to cause seals to deteriorate faster and if this is the case the packing will last longer.


Gland packing is also known as conventional shaft seal. There are many engineers that do not recommend packing for a lot of applications due to the requirements and costs of maintenance. The sealing off gases and liquid are not that effective either as a packing is prone to occasional leakage therefore there is a need to regularly adjust so that the seal is well-lubricated.


However, there is also problem of abrasive liquids that causes to corrosion and this would usually takes a toll on the lifespan of a gland packing; thus, forcing to spend more on repairs and replacements. On the bright side, there are such cases where packing can outperform seals. They are good at handling aggressive fluids. An example, packing earns another point due to its performance. In case if there is leakage, it is easy to adjust and keep the pump fully functional but this can’t be done with seals because it has to take the pump out of the service.

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