Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 14


Revised Edition August 2007



First Edition, July 1990
Amended Edition, August 1999
Revised Edition, August 2007

Oil Industry Safety Directorate

Government of India
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas

OISD - STD- 125
First Edition, July 1990
Amended edition, August 1999
Amended Edition, August 2007



Prepared by:
Functional Committee

Oil Industry Safety Directorate

NEW DELHI-110 001


OISD publications are prepared for use in the oil and

gas industry under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
These are the property of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
Gas and shall not be reproduced or copied and loaned or
exhibited to others without written consent from OISD.

Though every effort has been made to assure the

accuracy and reliability of the data contained in these
documents, OISD hereby expressly disclaims any liability or
responsibility for loss or damage resulting from their use.

These documents are intended only to supplement and

not to replace the prevailing statutory requirements.


The oil industry in India is 100 years old. As such a

variety of practices have been in vogue because of
collaboration/association with different foreign companies and
governments. Standardisation in design philosophies and
operating and maintenance practices at a national level were
hardly in existence. This, coupled with feed back from some
serious accidents that occurred in the recent past in India and
abroad, emphasised the need of the industry to review the
existing state of art in designing, operating and maintaining oil
and gas installations.

With this in view, the then Ministry of Petroleum &

Natural Gas in 1986, constituted a State Council assisted by Oil
Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) staffed from within the
industry, in formulating and implementing a series of self-
regulatory measures aimed at removing obsolescence,
standardising and upgrading the existing standards to ensure
safer operations. Accordingly, OISD constituted a number of
Functional Committees of experts nominated from the industry
to draw up standards and guidelines on various subjects.

The present document on " Inspection And Maintenance

Of Mechanical Seals " was prepared by Functional Committee
constituted for total review of OISD standards on Rotary

This document is based on the accumulated knowledge

and experience of Industry members various manuals, national
and international codes of practices. This document is meant to
be used as a supplement and not as a replacement for existing
codes, standards and manufacturers' recommendations. It is
hoped that provision of this document if implemented objectively
may go a long way to improve safety and reduce accident in the
oil and gas industry. Suggestions for amendments, if any, to this
document should be addressed to:

This document in no way supersedes the statutory

regulations of CCE, Factory Inspectorate, or any other statutory
body which shall be followed as applicable.

Suggestions for amendments to this document should be

addressed to

The Coordinator,
Oil Industry Safety Directorate,
7th Floor, New Delhi House
27, Barakhamba Road
New Delhi – 110 001


S.N Name Organisation Position in

01 Mr. D.K. Puri Reliance Industries Limited Leader
02 Mr. S.K. Chatterjee Hindustan Petroleum Member
Corporation Limited
03 Mr. P. Veerabhadra Rao Hindustan Petroleum Member
Corporation Limited
04 Mr. T.V. Venkateswaran Reliance Industries Limited Member
05 Mr. A.K. Dash Indian Oil Corporation Limited Member
06 Mr. Deepak Prabhakar Mangalore Refinery and Member
Petrochemicals Ltd.
07 Mr. R.C. Agarwal Bharat Petroleum Corporation Member
08 Mr. K Ravi Kochi Refineries Limited Member
09 Mr. Shamsher Singh Oil Industry Safety Directorate Member


S.N Chapter Page No.

1.0 Introduction 01

2.0 Scope 01

3.0 Definitions 01

4.0 Safety Considerations for Selection of Seals 02

5.0 Commissioning, Operation and Maintenance 03

6.0 Inspection, Installation and Testing 04

7.0 Non Contacting (Dry Gas) Seals 04

8.0 Failure Analysis 06

9.0 References 06

10.0 Annexure-I 07

Inspection & Maintenance
Mechanical Seals

1.0 Introduction 3.2 Barrier Fluid

A fluid, which is introduced between dual
Mechanical Seals are vital component of
mechanical seals to completely, isolate the
rotating equipment like pumps and
pump process liquid from the environment.
compressors. The proper selection,
Pressure of the barrier fluid is always
operation and maintenance of mechanical
higher than the process pressure being
seals is critical for safety and environment.
This document has been prepared,
3.3 Buffer Fluid
considering the importance of mechanical
A fluid used as a lubricant or buffer between
seals in the overall safety of the installation.
dual mechanical seals. The fluid is always at
The rotary equipment covered by this
a pressure lower than the pump process
document are Centrifugal Pumps &
pressure being sealed.
3.4 Cartridge Seal
A completely self-contained unit (including
2.0 Scope
seal gland, sleeve and mating rings), which
This standard covers the minimum is pre-assembled and preset before
requirements for selection, operation, installation.
maintenance & failure analysis of 3.5 Dual Mechanical Seal
Mechanical Seals and Sealing Systems A seal arrangement using more than one
installed on rotating equipment in seal in the same seal chamber in any
hydrocarbon industry. The document covers orientation, which can utilize either a
both contact and non-contact type pressurized barrier fluid or a non-
mechanical seals. pressurized buffer fluid.
3.6 Mating Ring
3.0 Definitions A disk or ring-shaped member, mounted
either on shaft sleeve or in a housing, which
3.1 Balanced Seal
provides the primary seal when in proximity
A mechanical seal arrangement whereby the
to the face of an axially adjustable face seal
effect of the hydraulic pressure in the seal
chamber, on the seal face closing forces,
has been modified through seal design.
3.7 Seal Ring c) Pressure
The seal face that contacts the mating ring.
4.4.1 Media
It is flexibly mounted using springs or
bellows. Fluid containing Toxic, Carcinogenic and
3.8 Shaft Sleeve Corrosive Fluids require seals that have
A cylindrical sleeve placed over the shaft to enhanced safety features, like Tandem
protect it from wear and corrosion. Seals, Double/ Dual Seals etc.

Dual seals shall be applied for following

4.0 Safety Considerations for
Selection of Seals and Sealing services:
a. Liquids
4.1 Selection criterion for Mechanical Seals
containing hydrogen sulphide in
shall include;
concentrations above 600 Mg/kg.

a) Focus on the parameters that can result b. Liquids

in unsafe condition during operation consisting of or containing lethal

b) Fire hazard substances. Examples of lethal

c) Health and environment concerns substances include but are not limited

d) Provisions in the basic design that shall to: HF acid, phenol, concentrated

prevent occurrence of unsafe conditions. sulphuric or nitric acid.

c. Hydrocarb
4.2 List of equipment handling such fluids, on services of butane (C4) or lighter.
which can have adverse effect on health d. Liquids
safety and environment in the case of consisting of or containing very toxic
leakage, shall be maintained. substances like benzene, toluene,
MEK, ethylene oxide etc.
4.3 For each of such application, seals and
sealing systems shall be selected in 4.4.2 Temperature

consultation with the seal manufacturer Fluids having potential for auto Ignition/
and as per guidelines given in the Vaporization at operating temperatures and
national/ international standards such as cryogenic services shall have enhanced
API 682, OISD & ISO. safety features.

4.4 The factors to be considered for Dual seals with barrier fluid shall be applied
selection of mechanical seals are as for Hydrocarbon liquids at an operating
below: temperature above their auto-ignition
a) Media temperature. For example,
b) Temperature
a) Vacuum Residue above 250 deg C b) Use of temporary fine strainers to arrest
b) Vacuum Gas Oil above 257 deg C entry of debris/ dirt into the seal
c) Motor Spirit and gasoline above c) Proper venting of the equipment, seals
280 deg C and sealing systems to safe locations
d) Kerosene above 210 deg C d) Ensuring completeness of auxiliary
systems. e.g.- Flush & Quench Plans,
4.4.3 Pressure
Monitoring & Control Devices, Cooling &
Dual seals shall be used for hydrocarbon
Cleaning systems.
liquids with a vapour pressure more than or
e) Ensuring proper functioning of the
equal to 5 bar (abs) at the operating
auxiliary systems by suitable means like
temperature or flow measurement.
4.5 Review of the existing
installations should be carried out and 5.2 Operation & Monitoring
necessary corrective steps to comply Proper operation of equipment as well
with the requirements in clauses 4.4 as sealing system is essential to ensure
taken to the extent feasible. that there are no catastrophic damages
to mechanical seals resulting in unsafe
5.0 Commissioning, Operation, conditions. It should be ensured that
proper procedures are in place to
Procedures shall be in place to ensure ensure that the mechanical seals are
that seals and sealing systems are operated properly. These procedures
properly commissioned, operated and shall include the following;
monitored so as to prevent failures,
a) Ensuring proper operation of equipment
resulting in unsafe conditions. The
as recommended by the OEM/ relevant
procedures shall be as per the
OISD standards.
guidelines below:
b) Proper venting of the equipment, seals

5.1 Commissioning and sealing systems to safe location

c) Ensuring proper functioning of the
Commissioning of seals shall include the auxiliary systems by suitable parameters
first commissioning of the system as like temperature/ temperature gradients
well as the re-commissioning after of flush, and cooling water circuit or flow
repairs. Procedures shall cover the measurement.
following; d) Monitoring temperature, pressure and
level of the buffer fluid in seal pot.
a) Flushing of the main process and seal
e) Visual inspection for any leakage from
piping to ensure elimination of debris/
seal/ seal systems.
dirt etc.
does not cause any failures of the
A typical list of checks that can be done
on seals is given in Annexure-1. 6.2.3. The
seal should be installed after the
6.0 Inspections, Installation and following checks;
a) Axial Movement
The following aspects of inspection,
b) Radial/ Shaft Whip
installation and testing of seals should
c) Shaft Run-Out
be considered, but not limited to, during
d) Stuffing Box Square ness
repair/ reconditioning of seals.
Concentricity of the Stuffing Box.
6.1 Inspection
6.2.4. Skilled
6.1.1. All components of the seal shall be and trained manpower shall be used
inspected by appropriate methods to for assembly/ installation of seals.
ensure proper quality.
6.2 Testing
6.1.2. Seal faces shall be inspected and may
be re-used after lapping provided the 6.3.1. Proced
surface flatness and finish meets the ures shall be in place to ensure that
requirement. the mechanical seals installed in
6.1.3. Elastomers normally undergo equipment are tested prior to taking
degradation and shall be replaced in operation.
with new ones. 6.3.2. All
6.1.4. Other components like sleeve, springs seals after installation into the
and gland plates shall be inspected equipment shall be subject to a
and re-used if no damage is observed. static pressure test to ensure safe
6.1.5. Ensure proper functioning of all trips
and alarms for the seal system
7.0 Non-Contacting (Dry Gas)
6.2 Installation Seals

6.2.1. Ensure This section covers those procedures that

that all assembly/ installation of seals are to be considered for the safe operation
shall be done as per seal drawings. of non-contacting seals specifically
compressor seals. These procedures are
6.2.2. Proper
over and above the procedures mentioned
checks shall be done to ensure that
in the earlier sections.
the equipment condition is good and
a) Duplex seal gas filter with

(4) differential pressure monitoring

b) Flow meter in the seal gas
supply line to both the seals.
7.1 Selection c) Control valve/ regulator for the
buffer gas to the secondary seal
7.1.1. Selectio d) Flow meter in the leak-off gas
n of dry gas seals should be done line to flare
based on the pressure, temperature, e) Pressure gauge and pressure
service etc. for all the operating / transmitters in the flare line.
static conditions.
7.2 Commissioning
7.1.2. Separat
ion gas shall be provided, when 7.2.1 Operating procedure for dry gas

required, to prevent gas from the seal system shall be prepared and

seal assembly migrating into the the operating personnel shall be

bearing chamber and oil from trained for the same.

bearing chamber migrating into the 7.2.1 Ensure trips and alarms for seal gas

seal assembly. Separation gas systems are set as per applicable

should be instrument air or inert gas OEM recommendations and shall be

like Nitrogen. kept in line.

7.2.1 Static leak test for inboard seal
7.1.3. The
leakage as per the procedure given
buffer gas system shall be capable
in the seal manufacturer’s
of reliably supplying buffer gas at
instruction manual shall be carried
sufficient pressure and flow to
out. Any abnormality shall be
positively prevent outward leakage
analysed and resolved.
of process gas under all operating
7.2.1 If an external source of seal gas is
and static conditions.
used, either permanently or
7.1.4. The temporarily, the gas shall be
seals should be designed for bi- compatible with the process and
directional rotation to avoid sudden with the materials of construction of
seal failure due to reverse rotation, if the compressor and downstream
reverse rotation is expected. equipment.

7.1.5. Seal 7.2.1 Before starting lube oil pumps,

control system should have separation gas supply shall be

adequate monitoring and safety ensured.

features such as;

by the organization and record shall
7.3 Operation & Monitoring be maintained.

7.3.1 The supply of seal gas shall be

7.5.1 Preservation
monitored to each seal.
7.3.2 A differential pressure alarm/ trip Preservation of dry gas seal

should be provided to warn about cartridges shall be as per the

loss of seal gas pressure. guidelines of the seal manufacturer.

7.3.3 The seal should not be operated if

8 Failure
the leakage is greater than factory
set shutdown trip levels.
7.3.4 The seal leakage should be 8.1 Failure of mechanical seal shall
continuously monitored and be analyzed thoroughly.
recorded; a trend of increasing 8.2 Root cause shall be established
leakage may give forewarning of a for each premature failure and
seal problem. necessary corrective actions shall
7.3.5 Ensure that the normal continuous be implemented to improve the seal
operating leakage flow of the seal reliability.
gas is safely lined-up to flare /vent 8.3 Root cause analysis should be
as the case may be. carried out as per the OISD-RP 126

7.4 Inspection & Maintenance

9 References
7.4.1 The inspection and maintenance of
9.1 API 682 Shaft Sealing Systems for
the dry gas seal cartridge shall be
Centrifugal and Rotary Pumps.
done by a competent and authorized
9.2 Dry Gas Seal Instruction Manual.
representative of the seal
7.4.2 Before sending the removed seal
cartridge to the seal vendor for
refurbishment, the cartridge shall be

7.5 Testing

The seal cartridge shall be tested in

accordance with the seal
manufacturer’s procedure. The
result of such test shall be reviewed

Indicative List of Checks for Operation & Monitoring of Seal Systems

Table below gives an indicative list of checks that can be carried out during the normal operation
of seals.

Sr. API Plan Plan detail Recommended Monitoring / Preventive Action

01 02 Dead end stuffing box Outlet temperature of cooling water in jacket to ensure
with plugged proper cooling of stuffing box, if applicable

03 12 Discharge-Orifice- Strainer to be checked periodically for choking.

05 21 Discharge-Orifice- Monitor Inlet temperature of flush to seal.
cooler-seal Check flows through cooler and cooling water outlet
06 22 Discharge-strainer- Monitor Inlet temperature of flush to seal.
orifice,-cooler-seal Check flows through cooler and cooling water outlet
07 23 Seal-pumping ring- Monitor Inlet temperature of flush to seal.
cooler –Orifice-seal Check flows through cooler and cooling water outlet
08 31 Cyclone Separator Periodically clean return line to suction
09 32 External-flush-Pressure Inlet pressure and temperature
Gauge Strainer,
Temperature Gauge-
10 41 Cyclone Separator, Periodically clean return line to suction
Cooler, Monitor Inlet temperature of flush to seal.
Temperature Indicator. Check flows through cooler and cooling water outlet

11 51 Reservoir, Periodically check liquid level and quality of fluid in

Pressure Gauge, reservoir
12 52 Reservoir, Periodically check liquid level and quality of fluid in
Pressure Gauge, reservoir
Cooler, Pressure
Flow Indicator
13 53 Reservoir, Periodically check liquid level and quality of fluid in
Pressure Gauge, reservoir
Pressure switch,
Flow Indicator
15 62 Steam purging Monitor flow. Check for water in drain.