DXP Pacific Industrial Pumps
lantern rings

What Is a Lantern Ring and Why Use it?

We’re not talking about a magical green ring that turns you into a superhero. We’re talking about lantern rings—critical components of many pump systems that use packing. They allow pressure or flush water to enter to protect the stuffing box. In addition, they keep contaminants out. A relatively simple pump component plays a very important role.

What Is a Lantern Ring?

A lantern ring is a hollow ring with perforated edges. It is located near the center of the stuffing box and lubricates the packing. Without a lantern ring, packing tends to generate a lot of heat. Excess heat can increase wear on the packing and the shaft. Using a lantern ring can extend the life span of the shaft, the packing, and the stuffing box—as well as the pump system overall. A lantern ring does not provide a sealing function. Its importance is often overlooked compared to the packing within a stuffing box, but it shouldn’t be. The lantern ring performs three key functions:

  1. Lubrication—It facilitates lubrication. As the fluid enters the lantern ring, it lubricates the packing to reduce friction against the shaft.
  2. Cooling—Lantern rings feature an opening and allow flush water or pressure to enter for important cooling properties.
  3. Protection—A lantern ring protects the shaft, stuffing box, and packing from excess heat to minimize wear and tear. It also keeps contaminants out of the packing. 

Other Benefits of Lantern Rings

The three functions above are the primary benefits of using a lantern ring, but others are worth noting. Though not a sealing component itself, a lantern ring improves the sealing of the packing stack. It facilitates a balanced distribution of the flushing fluid on each side to maintain a consistent seal and minimize the risk of fluid leakage. 

The cooling and lubricating properties the lantern ring creates prevent packing from overheating and enhance the overall performance of the packing. This may lead to a more efficient pump system that has better cost-effective operation. The lantern ring’s position can be adjusted along the shaft. This provides the user more control over compression and packing sealing. 

Don’t Overlook the Lantern Ring

If you have a pump system that uses packing, you should take advantage of the benefits a lantern ring can provide. It pays to understand the role and importance of the packing ring. Proper installation and maintenance are also critical. Make sure the packing and lantern ring are both installed correctly for ideal performance and enhanced shaft protection. The right packing and lantern ring configuration provides better wear protection and is key to pump system optimization. 

To learn more about lantern rings and find the best equipment and parts for your specific pump system application, contact DXP Pacific today. Let our team share their expertise and find solutions that provide optimal results.