MS Thesis Presentation by Ann H. Rocke
Friday, July 30, 2004

(Dr. Richard F. Salant, Chair)

"Elastohydrodynamic Analysis of a Rotary Lip Seal Using Flow Factors"


An elastohydrodynamic analysis of a rotary lip seal is performed numerically, incorporating both the fluid mechanics of the lubricating film and the elastic deformation of the lip, by solving the Reynolds equation with flow factors. Asperities on the lip surface dominate the behavior of the flow field in the lubricating film and the elastic deformation of the lip. Since previous analyses treated those asperities deterministically, they required very large computation times. The present approach is much less computationally intensive because the asperities are treated statistically.

Since cavitation and asperity orientation play important roles, these are taken into account in the computation of the flow factors. An asperity distortion analysis is introduced to obtain a more realistic model of the complex variations in the asperity distribution on the surface of the seal.

Results of the analysis show how the operating parameters of the seal and the characteristics of the asperities affect such seal characteristics as the thickness of the lubricating film, reverse pumping rate, power dissipation and load carrying capacity.