Failures of screw pumps in marine fuel oil conditioning systems are some of the most frequent incidents affecting a ship’s availability. In order to identify the possible reasons a systematic investigation was initiated. The result makes obvious that most of the defects are related to shaft seal failures. The respective scenarios of seal defects are discussed in detail as well as possible counter measures. However, the results finally have revealed that pump designs with mechanical shaft seals will always incur a distinct risk of breakdown. A decisive step forward in solving this problem is to completely avoid the shaft seal. The alternative technology of hermetically sealed pumps with magnetic coupling will be presented in its current state of the art.

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