Cross Section View of a Stuffing Box That Has Been Fitted with Conventional Packing

With conventional packing, nearly all of the pressure is concentrated into the first two rings. This creates unequal wear on both the sleeve and the packing, making it necessary to apply more pressure to the packing to provide an adequate seal.

Greater pressure causes greater wear and tear. It also causes an increased braking effect due to more resistance on the packing. This makes the pump have to work harder, meaning it draws more power to maintain output.

The end result is that increased pressure creates more wear and tear, which creates the need for more packing and takes more manpower to execute and maintain. It also means that the unit has to be maintained more often, costing more time, money and labour.