Dry gas seals have become the pipeline industry standard for sealing of centrifugal gas compression equipment. Recent applications have pushed the limits of materials used in their construction from exposure to ever increasing levels of pressure, speed and temperature. This provides the focus for a discussion of recent advances with the use of advanced materials, higher pressure, speed and temperature applications and bidirectional designs.
Operating experience has been very favourable, enough to make dry gas seals a preferred standard, but the failures that have occurred raise two fundamental questions. The first concerns the resistance of gas seals to contamination and the second is their influence upon rotor dynamic behavior. Both of these predominant issues are reviewed along with advancements and preventive measures now available to address these concerns.