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MEC2020W Design I

Seals
Dr Reuben Govender
April 2013

Function of seals

Keep lubricant or process fluid inside

Lubrication retention essential for bearings

Process fluid retention cost or safety concerns

Keep contaminants out

Water / dirt ingress into oil supply of bearings

General contamination of product

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Classes of seals

Static

Dynamic
Rotary

Translating

Contact

Noncontact
(gap)

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Static seals

Why ?

Surface roughness leaves leak path

Deformable element between two components


which fills leak paths

Easily replaced

Examples: Gaskets, O-Rings, Packing

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

O-Rings

Cheap, easily installed

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

O-rings

Fit inside groove


Groove sized to leave 25~30% of O-ring
thickness for compression
NB rubber is nearly incompressible!

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

O-rings contd

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Gaskets

Material to suit process fluid and environment

Plastics, rubber, metals (soft)

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Dynamic contact seals


SKF manual

Spring component to ensure sealing faces are in contact


Frictional losses higher

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Lobed seals

X-rings, U-rings
Fluid pressure forces lobes against sealing
surfaces, preventing leakage

SKF.com
Department of Mechanical Engineering
MEC2020W Design I

X-Rings
Seal in both directions

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Piston rings
Operate under extreme pressures
(Combustion inside cylinder)
Large Temperature differences
(expansion)
Multiple rings sealing gas in
chamber, preventing burn up of oil
Friction high relative to other seals
Other seals provide insufficient life

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Mechanical Seals
Pump Internals:

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Mechanical Seals
Multiple components
Static seals (O-rings) between :
shaft and rotating seal face
Housing and stationary seal face
Thin fluid film between seal faces
Does not stop fluid flow ('leakage')
Limits / controls flow to acceptable levels
and direction

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Non-contact seals

Fluid flow rate :

Pressure differential

Geometry of flow path

Changes in direction limit flow rate

Tortorous path

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I

Different orientations

Department of Mechanical Engineering


MEC2020W Design I