What are the benefits of API682 seals
July 1, 2024

What are the benefits of API682 seals

API 682 is a standard developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that specifies requirements and guidelines for the design, testing, and selection of mechanical seals used in centrifugal and rotary pumps for petroleum, chemical, and gas industry services. API 682 seals provide several benefits, including:

Reliability and Safety:

  • Designed to handle rigorous operating conditions, ensuring high reliability and reducing the risk of seal failure, which can lead to leaks, spills, and safety hazards.
  • Enhanced safety for personnel and the environment by minimizing the release of hazardous or flammable fluids.

As we can see from the image below, in physical terms one of the main differences between an API682 mechanical seal (on the right) compared to a traditional mechanical seal (on the left) is the amount of process fluid around the inboard seal faces.

In October 1994, the first edition of API 682 was published. This publication recognised that fluid around the seal faces was beneficial to seal reliability. As a result, the packing box (or seal chamber as it is now referred as) was increased radially. This allowed mechanical seals to be designed with larger volumes of fluid around the seal faces.

Unfortunately some seal manufacturers (as shown below) elect to fill all that extra space with metalwork as they employ traditional component seal technology mounted on thick cartridge seal sleeves. This type of seal design negates all of the benefit and purpose of the increased dimensional space outlined by the API 682 standard!

So purchasing officers and plant engineers need to operate a 'buy-and-beware' mentality as not all API 682 mechanical seal designs provide enhanced seal reliability.

RELIABILITY RULE #1 = Mechanical Seal Faces enjoy bathing in huge volumes of cooling fluid.

At Reliability Engineering we embrace the extra space (provided by the API682 standard )with innovative mechanical seal designs which truly increase seal and rotating equipment reliability. Take a look at our SPW682 range.

Other API682 seal benefits include;


  • Ensures a standardized approach to mechanical seal selection, installation, and maintenance, leading to consistency and predictability in performance.
  • Facilitates interchangeability of seals among different equipment and manufacturers, simplifying inventory and spare parts management.

Improved Performance:

  • Engineered to handle a wide range of temperatures, pressures, and fluid properties, providing superior performance in demanding applications.
  • Optimized for extended service life and minimal maintenance, reducing downtime and operational costs.

Compliance and Certification:

  • Compliance with API 682 standards helps organizations meet regulatory requirements and industry best practices.
  • Provides confidence to operators and stakeholders that the seals meet stringent quality and performance criteria.

Cost Efficiency:

  • Reduced maintenance and downtime due to the high durability and reliability of API 682 seals.
  • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) through extended service intervals and reduced need for frequent replacements.

Flexibility and Versatility:

  • Applicable to a wide variety of pump types and configurations, including single, dual, and tandem seal arrangements.
  • Suitable for diverse industries beyond petroleum and chemical, including power generation, water treatment, and pharmaceuticals.

Enhanced Seal Support Systems:

  • API 682 includes guidelines for seal support systems (e.g., flush plans, cooling systems) that improve seal performance and longevity.
  • Properly designed support systems ensure optimal operating conditions for the seals, further enhancing reliability.

In summary, API 682 seals are designed (on paper at least) to offer significant benefits in terms of reliability, safety, standardization, performance, compliance, cost efficiency, flexibility, and enhanced support systems. This makes them a preferred choice for critical applications in various industries.

However, attention is always in the detail. If purchasing officers and plant engineers take a few moments to look at the so-called API 682 seal design and ask one question;

In the seal being offered by the supplier, is there a large amount of fluid around the seal faces (as the API 682 standard intended)?

By asking this simple question, they will be one step closer at achieving mechanical seal reliability in practice.

Explore our range of API 682 mechanical seals and discover how Reliability Seals can enhance your equipment's efficiency and longevity. For more information, contact us.

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