Dry Gas Seals For High-Pressure Gas Injection Compressors

By Peter Droescher, Michael Sattler, Andreas Schruefer and Armin Laxander, EagleBurgmann Industries, Germany | June 2011 Vol. 238 No. 6

An extensive validation test was performed at the compressor manufacturer’s facilities. The compressor was operated with pure methane. During the 16-day test period, including several stops and restarts of the compressor, the performance of the seal was consistently within the expected range and very stable.

The test program performed on Dry Gas Seals designed for ultra-high-pressure compressors showed that the challenge of sealing at this high-pressure level could be achieved with DGS technology. Based on this experience, it will be possible to manufacture seals for a design pressure of 450 bar. Nevertheless, EagleBurgmann is continuing the R&D program on high-pressure seals to increase the maximum pressure limit up to 550 bar and to ensure optimum reliability even in this pressure range.

Dr. Peter Droescher is manager, Engineering Compressor Seals. He received a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Applied Sciences, Munich. In his 20 years with EagleBurgmann, he has acquired extensive knowledge about mechanical sealing technology. Contact via Anita LaFond, Constructive Communication, Inc., 973-992-0715, alafond@constructivecommunication.com.

Dr. Michael Sattler is vice president, Global Application Engineering. He has 20 years of professional experience comprising all aspects of dry gas seals and seal control units for compressors including product management, marketing, application engineering, commissioning, and troubleshooting. He joined EagleBurgmann in 1989 after receiving his industrial engineering degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich.

Dr. Andreas Schruefer is senior expert R&D. He has a Ph.D. degree in the field of Dry Gas Seal technology. He has been employed at EagleBurgmann for 20 years. His expertise is in mechanical seal development, ranging from pump seals and agitator/mixer seals to compressor seals. During the last few years, Schruefer has been focusing on high-pressure dry gas seal technology and on the development of crystalline diamond coatings for mechanical seals.

Dr. Armin Laxander is senior engineer R&D. Dr. Laxander received his Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering in 1996 from the University of Stuttgart. After holding several positions in the aerospace industry, he joined EagleBurgmann in 2002 working in numerical analysis for dry gas seals.

“Computational analysis methods for dry gas seals,” by A. Laxander, K. Lang, R. Johannes (2005), Workshop Advanced topics and technical solutions in dynamic sealing, Poitiers.

“Principles and Design of Mechanical Seals,” by A.O. Lebeck (1991), published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.

“2005 Financial & Operating Review,” ExxonMobil (2006), Irving, TX, USA.

“Dimensions of a seal – BURGMANN DGS for Compressors (2001),” Brochure by Burgmann Industries GmbH & Co. KG, Wolfratshausen.