(Dr. Richard Salant, advisor)
"Design and Development of a Test Apparatus for a Downhole Tool Metal Face Mechanical Seal"
A test apparatus for a downhole tool mechanical seal has been designed and developed. The apparatus simulates the complex operating conditions of the seal, and allows for adjustment of the sealed pressure, rotational speed, face load, misalignment and runout. It accommodates the actual seal faces. A variety of sensors are used for data collection: load cell, torque cell, proximity probes, pressure transducer and temperature probe. Data collection includes leakage, incursion, temperature, torque, face load, and orbit/inclination of the seal faces. Tests were performed for representative combinations of the speed, pressure, face load, misalignment and runout. Collected data was analyzed and compared to numerical simulations. The apparatus is designed to allow for future simultaneous measurements of leakage and incursion by use of the radioactive isotope labeling technique.