Now a new high-performance alternative to mechanical seals and compression packings has emerged onto the pump sealing market that is set to eliminate constant maintenance and adjustment, slash water wastage and dramatically reduce power consumption.
KlickFix®, launched by global sealing technology company James Walker, is a cartridge sealing system containing multiple in-built lips that can be sequentially deployed in order to provide extended sealing life and predictable operational performance.
The KlickFix® cartridge is easy to fit, can be refurbished on-site in a matter of minutes and has the potential to significantly outperform traditional mechanical seals and compression packings. KlickFix® will also aid companies working towards the ISO 14001 environmental management standard by virtually eliminating leakage, reducing power consumption and minimising or eliminating flush water requirements.
At the heart of KlickFix® is a unique system - with International PCT Patent - for deploying individual PTFE sealing lips (typically eight in total) in sequence. As the lip in use gradually wears, any leakage is stemmed in a matter of seconds by deploying the next stored lip. Deployment is a simple ‘click' to ‘fix' operation requiring no specialist technical knowledge or equipment.
When eventually all the lips are exhausted (and this is a period many times longer than the service intervals required by mechanical seals or compression packings), the unit can be swiftly refurbished on-site by inserting a new sealing element, which contains the built-in sealing lips.
With a traditional mechanical seal however, the task of changing sealing elements or faces can cost many hours of expensive down time and skilled maintenance input.
A KlickFix® cartridge unit has no moving parts or brittle sealing faces to disturb and because of this it can tolerate intermittent process faults and dry running conditions that would normally cause catastrophic failure within many traditional mechanical seals. When each lip does wear, any leakage is both minimal and its increase gradual, rather than a catastrophic failure. With a cartridge containing multiple seals it is therefore easy to record the life of each lip within the element and thereby obtain an accurate prediction of the unit's life, safe in the knowledge that once the final lip is deployed there is ample time available to order the refurbishment element.
The longest KlickFix® trial has been running at a mill in North America where the cartridge replaced a tungsten carbide faced mechanical seal on a 2.25" shaft Allis-Chalmers pump. The mechanical seal required clean water flush at a rate of 20 US gallons/hour and had an operational life of between 9 and 11 months pumping a 3-5% process paper stock concentration. Following the installation of a KlickFix® cartridge the flush rate was immediately reduced to less than 2 US gallons/hour - a 90% reduction in clean water consumption. The KlickFix® cartridge has now been in continuous operation without leakage or adjustment for more than 3 years and 5 months. KlickFix® sequentially deployable sealing cartridges are currently available for shaft sizes between 1" and 4.5" on standard centrifugal and positive displacement pumps handling liquids and solutions of virtually any type and viscosity.