Long life seal ring for use with EALs

09 Oct 2013
The Wärtsilä Bio Seal Ring, offering longer life with EALs

The Wärtsilä Bio Seal Ring, offering longer life with EALs

Wärtsilä has launched a stern tube seal ring specifically designed for use with environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs).

The Bio Seal Ring enables compliance with the US EPA Vessel General Permit 2013 legislation which comes into force on 19 December, and which will require most commercial vessels operating in US waters to use EALs in all oil to water interfaces unless deemed technically infeasible to do so. EALs, often known as bio-degradable oils, are said to provide a challenge for conventional seals, but Wärtsilä claims that, thanks to the use of new additives in the seal material the new product can offer a lifetime of at least five years, whereas conventional seal rings are recommended to be changed at two and a half year intervals.

The Bio Seal Ring is applicable mainly to FP propeller systems, though Wärtsilä says that it can be used with CP propellers, but recommends that ship owners consult with the OEM to confirm EAL compatibility. The company says that the seal has undergone extensive testing and adds that the extended operating life expectancy has a positive impact on dry-dock scheduling and related costs. It is suitable for both newbuilds and retrofits.

"The new Wärtsilä Bio Seal Ring represents the latest development in this field. It conforms with the latest EPA legislation relating to the use of EALs within stern tube seals. On the global scale, the introduction of this product is fully in line with the marine sector's rapidly developing move towards greater environmental sustainability," says Ryu Onishi, MD of Wärtsilä Seals and Bearings in Japan.

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