Monday 20th April 2015

Cetim sealing technology department and ESA: a long and fruitful collaboration

Cetim (Technical Center for Mechanical Industry) brings support and expertise to Industry in all the fields of Mechanics with 13 departments specializing in different technical domains of mechanics.

One of these department is the Sealing Technology Department, based in Nantes (France). The team of 30 people is dedicated to give support and expertise concerning seals and sealing questions. The department works following 3 strategic activities which are:

  • Leak measurement expertise (Detection, location, quantification), 
  • Characterization Qualification (Products and sealing systems) and 
  • Sealing mechanisms understanding (Sealing systems modelling and analysis). 

The activity is about 50% R&D projects and 50% private projects (add values tests).
The department develops competences in all the different sealing types: flanges and gaskets, packings, dynamics seals and elastomeric seals. The laboratory is ISO 17025 and ISO 9000 certified and works as a purely independent organism.

Cetim and ESA have built a long and permanent relationship for several decades, initiated with works on flange and gasket activities and developed with fugitive emissions in valves.

Cetim has been employed by the ESA and FSA to help research the packing friction project. The collaboration started with the participation to round robbin tests and result analysis. Then Cetim designed and built a specific test bench in order to measure packing friction with high precision level. The result of the first part of this project is the development of a standard EN 16752 Centrifugal pumps - Test procedure for seal packings, that will be published in early 2016.

Another collaborative work with ESA and FSA is concerning the development of a tool for valve packing with French valve manufacturers. Indeed, there is an increasing demand from valve end users for low emission sealing systems, but it remains important that the valve continues to move smoothly and efficiently. Since the frictional load of the stem packing has a contrary effect on these two requirements, valve and valve packing manufacturers are challenged with respect to the prediction and improvement of packing behaviour in a valve. The philosophy of the developed tool is close to the philosophy of EN1591 series dedicated to bolted flange connections. An analytical calculation method (document and xls spreadsheet) has been defined. Dedicated test rigs and protocols have also been developed to characterize the packing mechanical and sealing behavior. The experimental phase is now in progress with the first set of packing characterization.

Cetim is also participating to round robbin test concerning low temperature behavior of elastomeric seal. The aim of this work is to evaluate and to participate at the establishment of the Low Temperature Test Procedure. Cetim developed a specific test apparatus and has carried out some experimental tests on three kind of rubber.

For Cetim, being in touch with ESA is a real opportunity to keep contact with all international seal manufacturers. Exchanges are rich during meetings. Moreover, this is one real mean to get feedback from industry on R&D subjects in order to continue to develop a useful topics for seal manufacturers and seal users.

Indeed, contributing to collaborative studies with ESA and FSA fits very well in the strategic R&D axes defined by the Sealing Technology Department of Cetim.. Moreover, the confrontation of our results to the seal manufacturers community and the associated exchanges is a real richness for us.

Cetim presentation [PPT]

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Cetim sealing technology department and ESA: a long and fruitful collaboration

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