Ready for dry running

Single seal Cartex-SN with DiamondFace for high pressure centrifugal pumps in the pharmaceutical industry


Pumps evacuate the pharmaceutical fermenter and run dry


Automated processes, leakage value may not be exceeded


Cartridge seal Cartex with DiamondFace coating by EagleBurgmann


Roughly 400 pump shafts are equipped with mechanical seals from EagleBurgmann at the production site of a pharmaceutical company. Constantly changing operating conditions and dry running phases place extreme demands on the seals. DiamondFace technology significantly extends service life and reduces stock costs through further rationalisation.

This pharmaceutical company in Great Britain produces active substances by a fermentation process for the production of antibiotics. End suction centrifugal pumps according to ANSI specification transfer the medium between vessels. During the process one vessel is completely evacuated by the pumps, causing them to run dry and leaving the seals with insufficient or no lubrication at all. Both the production personnel and the control systems cannot intervene quickly enough to respond in time to dry running as the process is automated.

No standard single mechanical seal can withstand dry running at the speeds involved here and dry running of pump seals accounted for 80 % of the failures on site. Since the production site uses many solvents as a carrier within the process, only standard leakage can be tolerated, any more is classed as a “loss of containment” which can be reportable.


As the production process has very few standby pumps, any increases in the MTBF interval (MTBF: Mean Time Between Failures) are highly appreciated. Today EagleBurgmann’s DiamondFace technology is providing a significant benefit.

Some years ago, the customer and EagleBurgmann signed a “TotalSealCare” contract and started to convert all pumps from component seals to “Cartex” seals, i.e. cartridge single and doubles seals. Principally Cartex single seals are installed on the pump shafts to prevent egress of the process fluids. These mechanical seals are completely pre-assembled and precisely positioned component seals with cover plate and shaft sleeve. The cartridge design allows for quick and easy installation and makes it difficult for dirt to enter during assembly. Construction of this seal complies with the requirement for minimum downtimes in production as well as with the high degree of purity required in the pharmaceutical industry. It also provides a platform for stock rationalization and FDA compliance where necessary.

One of the next steps was to optimize the Cartex seals by using DiamondFace technology: A special procedure provides the surfaces of the seal faces with a microcrystalline coating of artificially produced diamond, making them extremely wear-resistant and capable of partial dry running. Furthermore, very little heat is generated during the dry running phases.


The concept has been tried and tested. In the meantime, the DiamondFace version of the Cartex single seal is being installed bit by bit in the pumps. Not only have the costs for the seals been noticeably reduced, but so have the costs for new shaft bearings and shafts. The MTBF interval has increased one hundred percent from two to four years. The risk of costly production interruptions has been significantly reduced. From now on, all single seals are to be supplied with DiamondFace sliding surfaces as standard.

There is another decisive advantage to DiamondFace. It only requires one material combination for the seal faces, allowing the stock held on site to be reduced from 24 parts to eight parts per seal. Additional standardization measures in sealing design and material combination have enabled EagleBurgmann to reduce the site stock over the years from 900 individual parts to 150 complete seals. The number of stores inventory locations has been streamlined from 22 to six.

EagleBurgmann and the pharmaceutical company have been working together since 2002. Extended operating periods and increased reliability of the Cartex-SN as well as reduced storage costs, training and 24/7 support have encouraged the customer to continue to rely on EagleBurgmann as their supplier of all sealing solutions.

  • Temperature: usually ambient
  • Tank pressure: p1 max. = 1 barg (14.5 PSIG)
  • Rotational speed: n max. = 1,450 min-1

Would you like to learn more about our range of products & services we offer to the pharmaceutical industry? Find our more here. Or feel free to contact us.

Solution: Ready for dry running

Single seal Cartex-SN with DiamondFace for high pressure centrifugal pumps in the pharmaceutical industry.

PDF download - 221.7 KB

Further reference projects

China, Mainland

10 years ahead

Between June 2017 and March 2019 the Hengli Group constructed an integrated refining and chemical complex in the Chinese harbor town Dalian where 20 million tons of crude oil are processed every year. EagleBurgmann advised the company Hengli concerning the selection of mechanical seals and supply systems for the whole plant and supplied more than 95 % of the components in use. 

Read the complete case study
KeyVisual_CaseStudy_National Grid
United Kingdom

10 years of reliability: Protecting the heart of Great Britain’s natural gas infrastructure from failure

In Great Britain, a shortage in natural gas supply has severe consequences: Since the country switched from coal-fired to gas-fired power stations, a gas supply shortage makes households and industrial consumers not only vulnerable to failing heating and gas stoves, but also to power outages. Companies along the value and transportation chain of natural gas are therefore especially dependent on reliable equipment.

Read the complete case study
Feuer und Flamme_DRO_Head3

100 percent performance at 300 degrees

Things get hot in rotary kilns, very hot in fact. In the production of cement, for example, the thermometer measures more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. Sealing systems from EagleBurgmann, a company of the Freudenberg Group and EKK, make sustainable contributions to environmental protection, energy efficiency and process reliability under these "fiery" high-temperature conditions.

Read the complete case study

A Partnership to build on

Our modern civilization is quite literally built upon cement. Today, building materials made from cement are used in buildings, roads, bridges, dams etc. Cement production is a heat-intensive process and causes thermal expansion in duct systems. To compensate this, Indian cement producer Ramco Cement needed fabric expansion joints with a diameter of several meters for two of their plants. On the basis of a close collaboration, EagleBurgmann was able to design components that increase the efficiency of the plant in the long run.

Read the complete case study

Clean sealing solution for demanding crystal production

Seals are a risk factor in the production of liquid crystals. If there is even the slightest contamination of the liquid crystals, this will later affect the image quality of the display. Read on to see which sealing solution Merck KGaA uses in paddle dryers for the production of liquid crystals.

Read on for the entire case study

Cruise liners with DiamondFace-coated mechanical seals

Cruise liners have to reduce their sulfur emissions in Emission-Controlled Areas (ECAs). To accomplish this, light fuel oil is used in coastal regions - with significant consequences for the ship's fuel supply.

Read the complete case study
Show all references

Excellence in Practice

With our free e-mail newsletter „Excellence in Practice“, you will receive first-hand information about current products, services, references and worthwhile industry insights.