Compression packing which is also called braided packing or rope packing. Braided packing is usually produced in a square or rectangular cross section and is braided from a range of different materials. Not only can compression packing vary by the material it is braided from, but the way in which is braided can also vary.
Types of Braid
One of the most common methods of braiding is in a square braid. A square braid is a relatively loose braid which produces a packing that when compressed with radially expand more than other braid types. This is particularly beneficial when equipment (usually a pump) has been in service for a long time resulting in a stuffing box and shaft sleeve that is well worn. When a tightly woven packing will not expand far enough to provide an effective seal, a square braided packing just might solve the problem.
The second most common packing may be called a lattice braid packing and interlock packing, or interbraid packing. All of which indicate the packing is tightly braided providing minimal leak paths between the braid. Because it is a tight braid which does seal better, it also will compress and radially expand less. This type of packing is excellent for equipment in like new tolerance condition. The sloppier the tolerance the more you need a square braid. Packing can also be manufactured in a braid over core style. The core can be a tight braid, or an extruded core. The core is then braided over with another braid that often will contain wire for pressure containment (in the case of valve packing) Adding a core of rubber the packing to bounce back from the compression, acting as a bearing and extending the life of the packing.
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