GE launches new compressor seals for LNG plants

Thursday, 14 June 2007

The new seal is available immediately for commercial applications, GE said. It has already been successfully tested in some major LNG projects, a company statement added.

GE, whose plant for making LNG equipment and other oil and gas industry applications is based in Florence, Italy, said its new abradable tertiary seal for centrifugal compressors is aimed at LNG customers and oil refineries.

The new product can be retrofitted to existing standard labyrinth (laby) seals as well as tertiary seals supplied by other manufacturers. It features minimum clearances to reduce barrier gas (nitrogen) consumption, GE said in a statement.

The seal is based on abradable technology developed by GE Oil & Gas and GE Global Research and features Halar® ECTFE coating, a Teflon-based material that is applied on stator parts using thermal spray techniques.

Proven in challenging environments, the technology can operate in very dry nitrogen conditions, such as those required for LNG applications.

"This type of tough, resistant coating has produced good results when applied to components used in particularly aggressive environments," said Jeff Nagel, Vice President Global Services of GE Oil & Gas.

The basic design of the new seal incorporates a stationary component that is abraded by a rotating part, which creates the tighter clearances required for reduced leakage.

In turn, that leads to nitrogen consumption levels two-thirds lower than those of a standard laby seal and comparable to a no-contact carbon seal.