Predicting leakage in packed stuffing boxes is a major engineering challenge to designers and end users. Due to the different working conditions and material products, the determination of the flow regime present in packing rings is not a straightforward task to predict. This paper presents a study on the ability of micro channel flow models to predict leak rates through packing rings made of soft materials such as graphite. A methodology based on the experimental characterization of the porosity parameters is developed to predict leak rates at different compression stress levels. Three different models are compared to predicate the leakage, where the diffusive and second order flow models are derived from Naiver-Stokes equations and incorporate the boundary conditions of an intermediate flow regime to cover the wide range of leak rate levels. The lattice model is based on porous media of packing rings as packing bed (Dp). The flow porosity parameters (Rc,Dp) of the micro channels assumed to simulate the leak paths present in the packing are obtained experimentally. The predicted leak rates from different gasses (He, N2, Ar) are compared to those measured experimentally, in which the set of packing rings is mainly subjected to different gland stresses and pressures.

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