Health fears over illegally imported gaskets

Health fears over illegally imported gaskets

NEWS during the same year, manufactures polymer sealing products, including kiss and fire seals, for aerospace applications. Helicoflex products, such...

83KB Sizes 1 Downloads 283 Views

NEWS during the same year, manufactures polymer sealing products, including kiss and fire seals, for aerospace applications. Helicoflex products, such as its E-rings, are engineered to withstand high temperatures and high pressures, providing controlled compression and consistently high sealing integrity. Cefil’Air’s inflatable seals and plate seals are widely used throughout the aerospace sector. Contact: Garlock (Great Britain) Ltd, Premier Way, Lowfields Business Park, Elland, West Yorkshire HX5 9HF, UK. Tel: +44 1422 313600, Fax: +44 1422 313601, Email: [email protected], Web:

Seals and Gaskets in the News Health fears over illegally imported gaskets


reen-asbestos-lined gaskets have been found at a refinery in Western Australia (WA) that is run by Alcoa, according to a report on the PerthNow Web-site owned by the WA Sunday Times. During April, workers at the company’s Pinjarra alumina refinery came into contact with chrysotile asbestos while stripping and refurbishing imported pipe gaskets. Asbestos is known to cause incurable lung cancer, and importing any products that use this material, without commonwealth approval, is illegal. The Sunday Times has obtained documents that show 1167 gaskets lined with asbestos were supplied to Alcoa by Pinjarra Engineering in 2005 and were fitted to steel piping across the Pinjarra plant. The gaskets, which were disguised by Chinese exporters to appear asbestosfree, were ground and hammered during routine maintenance, say workers. This potentially exposed them to deadly dust. Alcoa said it was alerted to the problem during April, but refused to disclose whether the gaskets had also been installed at any of its other WA refineries. According to Alcoa, engineering drawings contained a written statement saying ‘no asbestos’. ‘The suspect gasket was only discovered when one of the valves was dismantled during routine maintenance. The asbestos in the gasket is not friable and simply disturbing or exposing 6

Sealing Technology

the gasket would not give rise to airborne fibres’ says Alcoa. ‘Alcoa is very confident that the risk presented by these valves is extremely small.’ (Web:

It is not always the seal


ccording to media reports, Honda is recalling some models of its Acura in the USA and Asia because of a defect in the O-ring gasket and power-steering hose. In fact, it appears from the company’s Web-site that the recall is being conducted because of the potential for premature deterioration of the exterior surface of the hose through prolonged exposure to high ‘under-hood’ temperatures. The repair involves installing a new power-steering hose and, of course, a new O-ring gasket and fluid.


Conference and Meetings Update One-day seminar covers mechanical sealing technology


he Institution of Mechanical Engineers held a useful meeting on mechanical seals in London, UK, on 18 May. The chairman, John Middleton, had organised a varied selection of speakers covering many important aspects of the subject. The first session on safety, environment and legislation was started by a presentation on the selection of pump seals for use in hazardous, flammable and/or toxic services (see this month’s feature article, starting on page 8). The qualification of polymers by the new ISO standard, which is replacing NORSOK, was followed by an interesting approach to a dualbalance seal designed by A.W. Chesterton Corp. This was followed by a session that included an update on the work that aims to combat electrokinetic-driven corrosion (see Sealing Technology August 2009, page 7), the benefits of using dry gas seals for difficult pump applications, and a novel approach to sealing glass-lined vessels which, to me, did not actually look like a mechanical seal.

The third session discussed systems for dry gas seals on turbo-compressors, and methods of ensuring a clean, gas supply, safe running in fault conditions and testing to prove reliability. A range of different operating philosophies were evident from both suppliers and users. The use of a concentric double mechanical seal for sealing bearing oil will be familiar to readers of this newsletter. Whether or not such a system is necessary again provoked some debate. The final paper of the day discussed the selection of O-rings, and the use of realistic test procedures to optimise the choice of material. It was interesting to note that virtually all delegates stayed to the end of the seminar, which helps to confirm the quality and range of interesting topics debated. The papers presented were: UÊ /…iÊ`iÛiœ«“i˜ÌʜvÊ>ʏi>ŽÊÀ>ÌiÊÛiÀÃÕÃÊi“ˆÃsions criteria for the selection of ISO 21049/ API682 pump seals in hazardous, flammable and/or toxic services – Michael Goodrich, Total Raffinage Marketing; UÊ iÜʵÕ>ˆvˆV>̈œ˜Ê“i̅œ`ÃÊvœÀÊ«œÞ“iÀÃʈ˜Ê contact with oilfield fluids from NORSOK and ISO – Barry Thomson, Materials Engineering Research Laboratory Ltd; UÊ Õ>ÊL>>˜Viʜ«Ìˆœ˜ÃÊvœÀÊ*ÊÈnÓÊÃi>Ê`iÈ}˜ÃÊ – Scott Boyson, A.W. Chesterton Corp; UÊ ,i`ÕVˆ˜}Ê iiVÌÀœ‡Žˆ˜ïVÊ `ÀˆÛi˜Ê VœÀÀœÃˆœ˜Ê increases boiler feed water seal reliability – Steve Saunders, Flowserve Flow Solutions Group; UÊ Àއ}>ÃÊÃi>Ã]ÊiÝÌi˜`ˆ˜}Ê̅iÊi˜Ûiœ«i\Ê}Ài>Ìer tolerance for temperature, shaft movement and the interruption of barrier gas – David Casucci, John Crane Inc; UÊ >ÃǏˆ˜i`Ê ÛiÃÃiÊ Ãi>ˆ˜}Ê qÊ -VœÌÌÊ œÞܘ]Ê A.W. Chesterton Corp; UÊ ÀÞÊ }>ÃÊ Ãi>Ê ÃÞÃÌi“Ê Ã>viÌÞÊ «…ˆœÃœ«…ÞÊ qÊ Adrian Dorsch, MAN Diesel & Schweiz AG; UÊ Þ˜>“ˆVÊÌiÃ̈˜}ʜvÊ`ÀÞÊ}>ÃÊÃi>ÃÊvœÀÊi˜…>˜Vi`Ê tribological reliability – Christian Kirchner, John Crane Inc; UÊ ˆÌˆ}>̈˜}Ê ÀˆÃŽÊ ÌœÊ `ÀÞÊ }>ÃÊ Ãi>Ê Àiˆ>LˆˆÌÞÊ by eliminating times of low velocity across the process labyrinth – Michael Schiller, Flowserve Flow Solutions Group; UÊ ˆ}…‡ˆ˜Ìi}ÀˆÌÞÊLi>Àˆ˜}ʜˆÊ`iÛiœ«“i˜ÌÊvœÀÊ`ÀÞÊ gas seals in centrifugal compressors – Michael Sattler, EagleBurgmann Germany; and UÊ ˜VÀi>Ș}Ê`ÀÞÊ}>ÃÊÃi>ÊÀiˆ>LˆˆÌÞÊLÞÊ̅iʜ«Ìˆmization of O-ring compression set, chemical compatibility, explosive decompression resistance and modulus control – Darryl Turland, Precision Polymer Engineering Ltd. Contact: Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1H 9JJ, UK. Tel: +44 20 7973 1294, Email: [email protected], Web:

July 2010