Visco-Elastohydrodynamic (VEHD) Lubrication in Radial Lip Seals: Part 2—Fluid Film Formation

[+] Author and Article Information
H. J. van Leeuwen

Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 5600 MB Eindhoven, Netherlands

M. J. L. Stakenborg

SDRC, Druivenstraat 3, 4816 KB Breda, Netherlands

J. Tribol 112(4), 584-592 (Oct 01, 1990) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2920302 History: Received March 31, 1989; Revised July 07, 1989; Online June 05, 2008


It is shown in Part 1 of this work (Stakenborg et al., 1990) that dynamic excitation of a radial lip seal will result in nonuniform clearances, due to viscous and inertial seal material behavior. These clearances are filled with fluid. Due to entrainment effects in a converging part of the clearance, fluid pressures will develop, which are sufficiently high to overcome the radial preload. These fluid pressures are excellently described by short bearing theory. The viscous and inertial effects can lead to a type of full film lubrication which is designated visco-elastohydrodynamic (VEHD) lubrication. VEHD lubrication addresses the (apparent) parallel fluid film lubrication problem in radial lip seals. At present, it is the only macro-hydrodynamic theory that results in calculated fluid film thicknesses, friction torques and leakage rates that are in agreement with experimental data. A novel feature of VEHD lubrication is the increase of frictional torque with decreasing viscosity under conditions of full film lubrication and low viscosity values, hitherto believed to be mixed lubrication.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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