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Research Papers: Hydrodynamic Lubrication

An Approach to Calculate Leak Channels and Leak Rates Between Metallic Sealing Surfaces

[+] Author and Article Information
Feikai Zhang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Beijing Institute of Technology,
Haidian District,
Beijing 100081, China
e-mail: zhangfkbit@163.com

Jianhua Liu

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Beijing Institute of Technology,
Haidian District,
Beijing 100081, China
e-mail: jeffliu@bit.edu.cn

Xiaoyu Ding

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Beijing Institute of Technology,
Haidian District,
Beijing 100081, China
e-mail: xiaoyu.ding@bit.edu.cn

Zhimeng Yang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Beijing Institute of Technology,
Haidian District,
Beijing 100081, China
e-mail: bitzhimengyang@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received March 13, 2016; final manuscript received May 23, 2016; published online August 16, 2016. Assoc. Editor: George K. Nikas.

J. Tribol 139(1), 011708 (Aug 16, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: TRIB-16-1084; doi: 10.1115/1.4033887 History: Received March 13, 2016; Revised May 23, 2016

Surface topography of sealing interface is a key factor affecting sealing performance. In industry, it has always been desirable to optimize the performance of static seals by optimizing the surface topography. The evolution of leak channels and the quantitative effects of surface topography on leak rates are expected to be clarified. This paper proposes a novel approach to calculate leak channels and leak rates between sealing surfaces for specific surface topographies, based on three-dimensional (3D) finite-element contact analysis. First, a macromechanical analysis of the entire sealing structure is conducted to calculate the interfacial pressure. Second, the surface topography data are measured and processed. Third, the interfacial pressure is used as the boundary condition applied on the microscale 3D finite-element contact model, which is built based on the specific surface topography. Fourth, the geometrical models of leak channels are extracted from the finite-element contact model, and the leak rates are calculated using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. The proposed approach was applied to a hollow bolt-sealing structure. Finally, experimental results verified the accuracy and effectiveness of the proposed approach, which can provide valuable information for optimizing surface processing techniques, surface topography, and static seal performance.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Main process of the approach

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Fig. 2

Schematic and picture of the hollow bolt structure used in a gearbox

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Fig. 3

Dimensions of the hollow bolt structure (mm)

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Fig. 4

Finite-element mesh of the hollow bolt structure

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Fig. 5

Contact pressure on the bottom interface of the lower gasket (loading force is 10 kN)

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Fig. 6

Variation in contact pressure along the radial direction (α = 0 deg)

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Fig. 7

Variation in contact pressure along the circumferential direction (at the position of the intermediate diameter)

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Fig. 8

Approximation process of sealing interface

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Fig. 9

Sampling process of a steel sealing interface

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Fig. 10

Variation in roughness by width of sampling area

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Fig. 11

Magnitude–frequency characteristics of a sample microtopography signal: (a) wavelength in u direction and (b) wavelength in v direction

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Fig. 12

Surface topography after filtering

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Fig. 13

Three-dimensional contact model of the sealing interface

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Fig. 14

Nondimensional contact area versus displacement load with different mesh sizes

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Fig. 15

Results of analysis (average pressure is 45 MPa): (a) von Mises stress in the entire model and (b) contact pressure on the sealing interface

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Fig. 16

Variation in nondimensional contact area with the average contact pressure

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Fig. 17

Process of obtaining a leak channel

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Fig. 18

Leak channels with different contact pressure values: (a) average contact pressure of 10 MPa and (b) average contact pressure of 20 MPa

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Fig. 19

Finite-element model of the leak channel (average contact pressure = 20 MPa)

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Fig. 20

Effect of mesh size on leak rate: (a) u,v directions and (b) w direction

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Fig. 21

Velocity magnitude fields in leak channels: (a) average contact pressure of 10 MPa and (b) average contact pressure of 20 MPa

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Fig. 22

Logarithmic leak rate versus contact pressure for the sample piece

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Fig. 23

Logarithmic leak rate versus loading force of the hollow bolt structure

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Fig. 24

Schematic of the sealing experiment

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Fig. 25

Equipment used in the sealing experiment

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