Technetics Provides Optimal Sealing Solution at Berkley Lab

As a part of its Advanced Light Source Upgrade, Berkley Lab needed a sealing solution for its accumulator ring. After being invited to conduct a metal seal educational presentation, Technetics received the Accumulator Ring BPM application from Berkley Lab.



Machinery in Physics Lab

Technetics Provides Optimal Sealing Solution


Technetics Provides Optimal Sealing Solution

Why Technetics HELICOFLEX® Delta seal was the perfect match for Berkley National Laboratory

The Advanced Light Source is a research facility at Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (Berkley Lab) working to advance science through its synchrotron light source capabilities. As a part of its Advanced Light Source Upgrade, Berkley Lab needed a sealing solution for its accumulator ring. The upgrade called for a UHV sealing solution appropriate for a synchrotron, with a seal located at the Beam Position Monitor (BPM) housing. The specifications for the application included a leak rate of 1×10-9 cc/sec He atm and temperatures of 25ºC operating and 180ºC bake-out for 1 hour each startup. Furthermore, Berkley Lab required 4 seals for each of the 72 assemblies of the seal, for a total of 288 seals needed for the initial startup of this application.   

Due to the existing relationship between Berkley Lab and Technetics Group as well as Technetics’ involvement for several years in the Advanced Light Source “Kicker Box” assembly, the expertise and industry experience of Technetics was trusted for this application. After being invited to conduct a metal seal educational presentation, Technetics received the Accumulator Ring BPM application from Berkley Lab.  

The HELICOFLEX® DELTA seal was identified as an optimal solution for this application. It incorporates two small ridges, or “Deltas,” on the face of the seal. The high-contact stress in the seal track makes the HELICOFLEX® DELTA seal an excellent choice for ultra-high vacuum applications that require ultra-low Helium leak rates. After the prototype order was received and pump down testing successfully completed, Technetics received additional prototype orders with the expectation of MRO demands every 2 years.  


SLS Case Study


SLS Case Study

Rocket

SLS Case Study

Qualiseal® Circumferential Seals

Qualiseal® – Circumferential Seal Application: Military Aircraft


Circumferential Seal Application: Military Aircraft

The control valve in a military aircraft had a controlled gap circumferential seal with a carbon steel composite ring assembly.  High wear and carbon ring deterioration resulted in shortened seal life.

Operating Conditions

  • High temperature (1,125°F)
  • Pressure (660 psid)

Determining Cause and Failure Modes

  • High-temperature carbon grade oxidizing due to high temperature

Technetics Qualiseal® Technologies Solution

  • Designed a controlled gap circumferential seal utilizing a solid silicon carbide ring, improving temperature rating up to 2,500°F
  • Silicon carbide ring increased seal pressure rating based on FEA generated stress distribution

Sealing Tech

Qualiseal® – Mating Ring Solution: Hydraulic Pump


Mating Ring Solution: Hydraulic Pump

An aerospace OEM historically purchased an inexpensive mating ring to pair with a precision carbon face seal in a hydraulic pump.  The supplier was capable of achieving flatness to 6 HLB.   The buyer was satisfied because the mating ring met the design requirements at a low cost.

Operating Process

  • After receiving the mating rings, the OEM inspected 100% of them using a laser interferometer to ensure sufficient flatness.
  • 80% of the mating rings needed to be re-lapped and re-inspected before they could be used even though they were built to spec.
  • The total cost of the final product was significantly greater than the amount on the purchase order

Technetics Qualiseal® Technologies Solution

  • Technetics Qualiseal® Technologies manufactured mating rings to a standard above the customer’s design requirements, achieving flatness to 3 HLB or better.
  • Inspected utilizing QT’s laser interferometer and delivered ready-to-use products to the customer.
  • The customer recognized savings in the “total cost” of the product and also reduced the required inspection staff by two.

Contacting

Qualiseal® – Contacting Face Seal Application: Aircraft Engine


Contacting Face Seal Application: Aircraft Engine

The main shaft in a commercial aircraft engine had an existing carbon face seal experiencing high leakage and seal failures.

Operating Conditions

  • High speed (51,000 rpm)
  • Gearbox oil (MIL-R-23699)
  • 20 psid

Determining Cause and Failure Modes

  • Technetics Qualiseal® Technology FEA model indicated significant face tapering and waviness in the two-piece seal nose design
  • The existing design also enabled anti-rotation wear, causing the part to hang up and further contribute to the significant leakage

Technetics Qualiseal® Technology Solution

  • Designed a new carbon face seal with a mono-block seal nose design
  • Integral anti-rotation heat treated to high hardness for wear resistance
  • Final design solution required NO COST INCREASE over the original product

Metal Bellows

Qualiseal® – Metal Bellows Seal Application: Fuel Pump


Metal Bellows Seal Application: Fuel Pump

Background

The pump for a commercial aircraft had an existing carbon face seal experiencing high leakage and seal failures. Technetics Qualiseal® Technology was employed to find a solution.

Operating Conditions

  • High speed (27,000 rpm)
  • Dry running (no lubrication)
  • 12.5 psid

Determining Cause and Failure Modes

  • Seal testing and Qualiseal® Technology FEA model indicated temperatures up to 650°F
  • Current secondary seal taking a set due to high temperature
  • Possible carbon resin exudation due to high temperature

Technetics Qualiseal® Technology Solution

  • Designed a metal bellows seal assembly with a high-temperature carbon grade
  • Sealed application and satisfied extreme temperature requirements

Sealing Tech

Qualiseal® – Non-Contacting Face Seal Application: Gearbox


Non-Contacting Face Seal Application: Gearbox

The Gearbox in a commercial aircraft engine had multiple locations with carbon face seals experiencing high leakage and seal failures. Technetics’ Qualiseal® Technology was called upon to find a solution to reduce time and expense due to maintenance downtime.

Operating Conditions

  • High speed (up to 27,000 rpm)
  • Gearbox oil (MIL-R-23699)
  • 5 psid

Determining Cause and Failure Modes

  • High heat generation of seals caused oil to coke
  • Abrasive coke particles became embedded in sealing faces causing excessive leakage and wear
  • Seals had to be replaced on the wing before scheduled maintenance of the gearbox due to excessive leakage

Technetics’ Qualiseal® Technology Solution

  • Designed a new non-contacting carbon face seal with hydrodynamic features on the mating ring to reduce heat generation
  • The new design allows for maintenance-free seals before the gearbox is pulled for scheduled maintenance
  • Final design solution required NO COST INCREASE over the original product

Sealing Solutions for Subsea Systems in the North Sea


Sealing Solutions for Subsea Systems in the North Sea

The Aasgard oil and gas field in the North Sea has been operating since 1999. Innovative subsea processing technologies were used to compress the oil and gas on the site’s seabed to improve recovery rates as the field ages and as equipment begins to draw from increasingly deeper subsea reservoirs. The operator required seals for the lid and body of the control power distribution unit in order to protect its vital electronics in the harsh, unforgiving subsea environment.

As a globally trusted source for engineered components, seals, assemblies, and sub-systems for demanding environments, Technetics was uniquely positioned to evaluate and specify a sealing solution for this application. The system designer and Technetics engineers subsequently underwent a two-year testing phase to examine the performance of a variety of sealing options.

Due to the extremely demanding environment in which the subsea pressure vessel would be operating, finding a sealing solution that would meet both the operator’s and governmental requirements turned out to be lengthy and complex. Specifically, the operator noted that the seal needed to meet high-pressure requirements with a strict leak rate of 10-11 cc/sec He for a period in excess of 10 years.

Based on the extensive testing results, Technetics identified a HELICOFLEX® spring energized metal seal as the ideal sealing solution. The HELICOFLEX® seal consists of a close-wound helical spring core and outer jacket material that provides a highly ductile and plastic sealing surface. This combination of materials allows it to provide consistent and reliable sealing performance under uneven flange pressures and imperfections in the flange surface. Benefits of the HELICOFLEX® seal include helium tightness, long seal life, and excellent corrosion resistance.

This solution not only secured the electronic equipment inside the vessel, but it also alleviated any environmental and safety concerns from potential leakage and failure of the system. Thus, the installation of the HELICOFLEX® spring energized metal seal provided the required sealing integrity.

To learn more about the HELICOFLEX® seal, download the HELICOFLEX® seal PDF, request a quote, or contact your Technetics Industry Representative for a custom-engineered solution for your application.