During the AGM meetings, the Packings Division discussed the results of leakage performance tests comparing packing sets and lengths for PTFE packings. Due to significant extrusion and gland pressure losses after heating, it was decided to continue the project to investigate methods to reduce PTFE extrusion. The hydrogen testing at DHBW Mannheim University in Germany was delayed due to issues with the test stand, which have since been resolved. The first tests with expanded graphite packings are scheduled to commence soon. Additionally, three members are currently testing a plastic-free solution for packing packaging provided by Burgmann Packings as part of the plastics reduction project.

Ralf Vogel, ESA's Technical Director

Ralf Vogel, ESA’s Technical Director

The Expansion Joints Division finalised their configurator tool for selecting standard fabric expansion joint solutions after several meetings at the AGM. The tool will soon undergo testing by member companies before being put online. The Division also aims to complete the training presentation “Introduction to Fabric Expansion Joints” later this year.

The Mechanical Seals Division is actively working on two documents concerning mechanical seal emission performance. The training course “Introduction to Mechanical Seals” has been completed and is now available in the Knowledgebase. Drafts for three additional training courses focusing on single and dual mechanical seals, as well as containment seals, are nearing completion.

The Flange Gasket Division is progressing with the publication of articles comparing hydrogen and helium leakage performance for different gasket types. A paper on this topic has been accepted for presentation at the Hydrogen workshop at the Valve World Conference in December. The Division is also supporting the update work on EN 1514-6. As part of the plastics reduction project, alternatives to plastic spacers for spiral wound gaskets are being investigated. Samples of silicone and biodegradable plastic spacers were showcased at the AGM, and efforts are underway to gather quantity information for favourable pricing. Additionally, work on the third training course on gasket selection continues.

During the AGM meeting of the Elastomeric & Polymeric Seals Division, Cetim presented their suggestions for continuation work on the Arrhenius project for lifetime prediction of elastomeric seals. Concurrently, progress is being made on the first training presentation to introduce elastomeric seals.

Ralf Vogel,

Technical Director, ESA