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Lion expanding
Metallurgical | Hydraulic sealing

Expanding packing compensates for wear on forging press


The press had significant wear resulting from the piston being out of alignment. As a result, the life of the existing seal was being very seriously compromised, leading to pressure loss within the cylinder and massively impacting upon the plant’s overall productivity.

The existing sealing solution simply couldn’t cope with the extremely poor sealing environment in which it was being asked to operate and at the worst point, the press was being shut down every two or three days to have the seals replaced. The consequences included, a catastrophic loss of productivity and a massive maintenance bill for replacement seals, hydraulic oil and 5 hours of uninterrupted maintenance team labour costs every time that the seals needed to be replaced. The position was completely unsustainable.


Heavy duty hydraulic ram seal on the largest forging press in Brazil with an 8,000 metric tonne force, used to manufacture work and back-up rolls for the Brazilian steel industry.

  • Pressure: 300 bar
  • Media: Emulsion of hydraulic oil and water
  • Temperature: 80°C
Existing solution

Alternative heavy duty compression packing.

James Walker solution

A nitrile rubber-proofed fabric based expanding packing set was installed on an initial 3 month trial.

Expanding packing has been specially designed to cope with machinery with worn bushes and rams, providing bearing support to the ram and helping to maintain alignment. Expanding packing sets have a proven track record across a wide range of heavy duty hydraulic sealing applications and can tolerate the most aggressive working conditions whilst maintaining plant efficiency.

Results and benefits

Although originally fitted as a 3 month trial, the expanding packing set operated successfully for a period of 12 months, at which point it was changed as part of a planned preventative maintenance cycle. The seal was still working perfectly when it was replaced. The difference between constant shutdowns and seal replacement every 2 to 3 days, versus 12 months of trouble free operation to the next planned preventative maintenance cycle, speaks for itself.

Significantly extended productive life of ageing plant
Improved productivity - saving at least £18k per day
Improved health and safety - clean, leak free environment
Hugely reduced maintenance costs
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Lion expanding packing

Our Lion expanding packing set is highly proven on industry's most arduous applications. It has a sealing lip profile that is specially developed to withstand the massive side loads and high pressure peaks encountered on forging presses and other large metal-forming plant. 

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Lion expanding packing

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