POSITION STATEMENTS

ESA Position Statement on proposed PFAS regulation – March 2022

In this detailed position statement the ESA makes the point that fluoropolymers and fluoroelastomers are chemicals of low concern and should not be grouped with other PFAS chemicals of high concern like PFOA and PFOS. Also case studies about the use of these seals in a wide range of industries are included.

More information about PFAS can be found also on Youtube posted by Simon Roberts. He has a PhD in Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology and conducted PFAS research. A basic introduction about “PFAS Nomenclature, Acronyms, and Structures” can be found using the link https://youtu.be/bVlZVCXe698. More information is presented in the three part series “Three Things to Know About PFAS: Part 1 Persistence” https://youtu.be/K9LYfbuVFf8. Information about PFAS Analysis can be found under https://youtu.be/3BISPfoa-Dc.

In July 2021 the Fluid Sealing Association issued an executive statement about PFAS which can be accessed using the following link PFAS Chemicals Explained FINAL. In March 2022 the FSA organised a webinar about PFAS in cooperation with the Hydraulic Institute. It can be viewed using the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baNlvKL_bZU.

Another detailed and resourceful position statement was issued by BDI, the Federation of German Industries, in September 2021 – Position_BDI_PFAS.

ESA ATEX Position Statement and its applicability to Fabric Expansion Joints – February 2022

This document is a position statement regarding the ATEX directive and its applicability to fabric expansion joints. It is in line with statements issued by the RAL organisation.

ESA Position Statement on ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU and its applicability to Mechanical Seals – September 2021

The new Directive 2014/34/EU applies to equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres and is mandatory as from 20 April 2016. It replaces Directive 94/9/EC. With this revised Directive, the essential health and safety requirements have not changed. It was the aim of the revision to harmonize the requirements with the New Legislative Framework – NFL. In September 2021 the position statement was updated to include changes regarding Brexit.

The antecedent Directive ATEX 94/9/EC (ATEX 95) has been mandatory since 1 July 2003. The interpretation of how this Directive applies to Mechanical Seals is still largely misunderstood. On 22 Feb 2005, the EC ATEX Standing Committee provided a “Consideration document” on mechanical seals defining when a mechanical seal is to be considered a machinery element or an ATEX Component.

The Members of the European Sealing Association (ESA) Mechanical Seals Division support this“Consideration document”and have developed the following “Position Statement” to summarize its content and to further clarify related issues.

ESA recommended HS-codes for sealing devices – May 2021

The FSA and ESA organisations have been active with trade representatives working on the Environmental Goods Act (EGA). This act is an attempt to help the environment, by agreeing that products which are dedicated to improving the environment, should be traded freely on a global basis.

Products are agreed by the HS code definition for the product. HS codes are used by customs and excise departments to ensure the correct import duties are attached to each product.

So for products to be added to the EGA, the HS codes needed to be investigated. This entailed a working group of FSA and ESA members who conducted an exercise to ensure each sealing device was given the correct HS code.

The basis for the research was the international codes definitions in the UN comtrade database, and in the case of gaskets, the US Customs and Borders agency definitions for gaskets. These documents enabled the group to come up with the correct definition for each product.

UKCA Overview – May 2021

This document presents a very short overview of changes to the way goods can be placed on the UK market from the EU and on the EU market from the UK following the Brexit process.  

It covers three primary areas:

  • Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1st January 2021
  • Placing manufactured goods on the EU market from 1st January 2021
  • Using the UKCA mark from 1st January 2021

Further information can be requested by contacting the ESA on info@europeansealing.com.

ESA Summary Overview of API 682 4th Ed. – February 2021

This document is a very short overview of API 682 4th Ed. It highlights some areas where there can be misinterpretation of the standard. A more detailed document, along with references, is available in the Members Area.

ESA Position Statement on use of carbon/graphite face materials for mechanical seals in food contact – November 2020

Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 provides a harmonised legal EU framework for general principles of safety and inertness for all Food Contact Materials (FCMs). It does not cover carbon/ graphite face materials as used in mechanical seals, but customers of seal suppliers are increasingly requesting certification that seals conform to the regulation.

To determine a possible migration limit for carbon/ graphite seal face materials the analytic laboratory of SQTS (Swiss quality testing services) was enlisted by the Mechanical Seals Division of the ESA to carry out benchmark migration tests.

The test program showed that carbon or graphite face materials for mechanical seals will perform to stringent limits which are already defined in EU 10/2011 for plastic materials in contact with food as well as Swiss food regulations. The materials from four different suppliers showed similar overall migration values lower than 10 mg/dm² or 60 mg/kg food.

IECEx Explosion Protection Procedures for Mechanical Seal Manufacturers (Overview) – September 2020

Process plants may contain hazardous areas where explosive atmospheres are present. Equipment applied in these areas has to be designed and approved to cover applicable safety requirements. This document has been produced by the ESA and provides a comparison of the IECEx and ATEX standards. Legislation and regulations designed to mitigate this risk are similar but are not interchangeable and application depends on geographical location and local safety regulations.

In practice the technical/ quality assurance requirements for ATEX & IECEx are identical but the methodology and route of demonstrating compliance are different.

The leading directive in the EU is ATEX, as it contains general requirements for products in the EU, and its application is legally binding across the EU. As such, IECEx certification cannot be applied as a replacement for these known and recognized conformity assessment procedures and it remains a voluntary system.

The full document can be requested by contacting the ESA on info@europeansealing.com.

Reduction of Fugitive Emissions Document – December 2019

The ESA published a large reference document of Best Available Techniques (BATs) in 2019 which detailed the IPPC 1996/61/EC directive and the BATs for each type of Sealing Device available.

The relevant regulation has now changed to IED 2010/75/EU, and the technologies available within sealing devices has improved over the intervening years, hence the issuing of an updated BAT for sealing Devices.

The key point is that IED 2010/75 combines and merges 7 existing directives. (IPPC (1996/61/EC and 2008/1/EC); Large Combustion Plants (2001/76/EC); Waste Incineration (2000/76/EC); Solvent Emissions (1999/13/EC); and 3 existing TiO2 directives).

IPPC Directive 2010/75/EU Reference documents are available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/industry/stationary/ied/legislation.htm

BAT reference Documents are available at:

http://eippcb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reference/

The ESA Position on European Directive DWD 98/83/TC – February 2017

 Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

The ESA’s position is that it fully supports TC 164 work on harmonising a single pan European test for products in contact with drinking water, with the removal of the cost of meeting multiple tests. If required ESA will support the “Mutual Consent” principle.

The ESA started the following actions:

  • Becoming a Liaison Member of TC 164, and participating in their meetings in Brussels.
  • Joining the European Drinking Water industry consortium (formerly known as ICPCDW), and attending their meetings in Brussels. The European Drinking Water consortium includes all the relevant Trade Associations in Europe involved in Drinking Water.
  • Being kept fully up to date with all stakeholder events and technical meetings, and meetings with national regulators.
  • Responding to DG environments review of article 10 of the drinking water directive.

ESA Position Statement on EC 1935/2004, Article 16 – Declaration of compliance for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food – June 2016

Article 3 of EC 1935/2004 states that materials and articles, including active and intelligent materials and articles, shall be manufactured in compliance with good manufacturing practice so that, under normal or foresable conditions of use, they do not transfer their constituents to food in quantities, which could endanger human health or bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food or bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

The Members of the European Sealing Association (ESA) Mechanical Seals Division have developed the following “Position Statement” to further clarify the subject.

ESA Position Statement on ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU and its applicability to Bearing Isolator Seal – April 2016

The new Directive 2014/34/EU applies to equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres and is mandatory as from 20 April 2016. It replaces Directive 94/9/EC. With this revised Directive, the essential health and safety requirements have not changed. It was the aim of the revision to harmonize the requirements with the New Legislative Framework – NFL.

Preface:

The precedent Directive ATEX 94/9/EC (ATEX 95) – ‘Equipment and Protective Systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres’ has been mandatory since July 1st2003. On Feb 22nd 2005, the EC ATEX Standing Committee provided a “Consideration document” on mechanical seals defining when a mechanical seal is to be considered a machinery element or an ATEX Component. Bearing Isolator seals should be considered in a similar manner to mechanical seals.

The Members of the European Sealing Association (ESA) Mechanical Seals Division have developed the following “Position Statement” to further clarify related issues.

ESA Position Statement on the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC and 2006/42/EC – June 2006

The new Directive 2006/42/EC was transposed from in December 2009, on the repeal of the original Directive 98/37/EC. After consultation, it is the judgement of the ESA Mechanical Seals Division that the definition on applicable “Machinery” (in either the original or new Directive) does not apply to mechanical seals. They shall be classified as machinery elements or components when applicability to the Machinery Directive is considered and conformance is not required. Further detail is available in a Position Statement, which has been developed by the Members of the ESA Mechanical Seals Division.

ESA Position Statement on the EU Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC) – August 1999

The ESA has sought advice from sources across Europe, including the Verein Deutscher Maschinenbau-Anstalten e.V. (VDMA, Germany) and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti, United Kingdom) regarding the implications of the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) for mechanical seals. A Position Statement is available for clarification.