Research Papers: Other (Seals, Manufacturing)

A Subscale Experimental Test Method to Characterize Extrusion-Based Elastomer Seals

[+] Author and Article Information
Shiyan Jayanath

Department of Mechanical and
Aeronautical Engineering,
Clarkson University,
Potsdam, NY 13699
e-mail: wewalas@clarkson.edu

Ajit Achuthan

Department of Mechanical and
Aeronautical Engineering,
Clarkson University,
Potsdam, NY 13699
e-mail: aachutha@clarkson.edu

Aaron Mashue, Ming Huang

GE Oil & Gas,
Houston, TX 77205

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received September 16, 2015; final manuscript received November 22, 2015; published online April 27, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Sinan Muftu.

J. Tribol 138(3), 032201 (Apr 27, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: TRIB-15-1339; doi: 10.1115/1.4032175 History: Received September 16, 2015; Revised November 22, 2015

Extrusion-based elastomer seals are used in many applications, such as the seal in a variable bore ram valve used in offshore oil and gas drilling. Performing full-scale closing pressure experiments of such valves to characterize the seal performance and material failure of elastomer, especially under various temperature conditions, are quite expensive and time consuming. Conversely, simple coupon tests to characterize the elastomer mechanical properties and failure do not capture the complex deformation associated with the extrusion and subsequent sealing type that these materials undergo in the valves. In view of this, a simple subscale experimental test method capable of simulating the extrusion and sealing type deformation is developed. The extrusion and sealing deformation are realized by bonding the rectangular elastomer sample to metal pieces on top and bottom surfaces, and then compressing the sample in the vertical direction, while the deformation of the three lateral surfaces is kept constrained. As a result, sample deforms and extrudes out of the front surface, eventually forming the seal against a flat rigid metal plate placed at an appropriate distance. Simple scaling rules to determine the appropriate sample size and initial sealing gap, equivalent to the full-scale valve in terms of similar strain conditions, are derived and then verified using finite element analysis (FEA). Finally, the experimental test method is demonstrated by characterizing the contact pressure of nitrile (NBR) samples under different operating temperatures, ranging from 21 °C to 160 °C using pressure-sensitive film sensor.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Lindley, P. , 1966, “ Load-Compression Relationships of Rubber Units,” J. Strain Anal. Eng. Des., 1(3), pp. 190–195. [CrossRef]
Green, I. , and English, C. , 1992, “ Analysis of Elastomeric o-Ring Seals in Compression Using the Finite Element Method,” Tribol. Trans., 35(1), pp. 83–88. [CrossRef]
Raparelli, T. , Bertetto, A. M. , and Mazza, L. , 1997, “ Experimental and Numerical Study of Friction in an Elastomeric Seal for Pneumatic Cylinders,” Tribol. Int., 30(7), pp. 547–552. [CrossRef]
Belforte, G. , Manuello, A. , and Mazza, L. , 2006, “ Optimization of the Cross Section of an Elastomeric Seal for Pneumatic Cylinders,” ASME J. Tribol., 128(2), pp. 406–413. [CrossRef]
Xue-Guan, S. , Lin, W. , and Young-Chul, P. , 2009, “ Analysis and Optimization of Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Sealing Mechanism of Ball Valve,” Trans. Nonferrous Met. Soc. China, 19, pp. s220–s224. [CrossRef]
Belforte, G. , Conte, M. , Bertetto, A. M. , Mazza, L. , and Visconte, C. , 2009, “ Experimental and Numerical Evaluation of Contact Pressure in Pneumatic Seals,” Tribol. Int., 42(1), pp. 169–175. [CrossRef]
Zhou, Y. , Huang, Z. , Bu, Y. , Qiu, C. , and Yuan, Y. , 2014, “ Simulation Studies on Drilling Mud Pump Plunger Seal Failure Under Ultrahigh Pressure and Ultradeep Conditions,” Eng. Failure Anal., 45, pp. 142–150. [CrossRef]
Lorenz, B. , and Persson, B. N. J. , 2010, “ Leak Rate of Seals: Effective-Medium Theory and Comparison With Experiment,” Eur. Phys. J. E, 31(2), pp. 159–167. [CrossRef]
Lorenz, B. , Oh, Y. , Nam, S. , Jeon, S. , and Persson, B. , 2015, “ Rubber Friction on Road Surfaces: Experiment and Theory for Low Sliding Speeds,” J. Chem. Phys., 142(19), p. 194701. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kaisong, L. J. W. , 1997, “ Calculation of Sealing Parameters of Rubber Cores for Ram Blowout Preventers and Their Structural Optimization [j],” Acta Pet. Sin., 18(1), pp. 123–128.
Gent, A. , and Lindley, P. , 1959, “ The Compression of Bonded Rubber Blocks,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., 173(1), pp. 111–122. [CrossRef]
Hailong, F. , Jinyou, W. , and Guangzheng, J. , 2008, “ Finite Element Analysis of Key Components of Ram Blowout Preventer Operating Under Pressure,” China Pet. Mach., 8, p. 6.
Shi, Q. , Zhu, W. , and Ji, X. , 2010, “ Finite Element Analysis on Rubber Core and Perfect Design on Structure of the 2fz1821 Ram Blowout Preventer,” Drill. Prod. Technol., 6, p. 28.
Banks, H. , Pinter, G. A. , and Yeoh, O. , 2002, “ Analysis of Bonded Elastic Blocks,” Math. Comput. Modell., 36(7), pp. 875–888. [CrossRef]
Suh, J. B. , and Kelly, S. G. , 2011, “ Stress Response of a Rubber Block Under Vertical Loading,” J. Eng. Mech., 138(7), pp. 770–783. [CrossRef]
Liggins, A. , 1997, “ The Practical Application of Fuji Prescale Pressure-Sensitive Film,” Optical Measurement Methods in Biomechanics, Springer, Berlin, pp. 173–189.
Singerman, R. , Pedersen, D. , and Brown, T. , 1987, “ Quantitation of Pressure-Sensitive Film Using Digital Image Scanning,” Exp. Mech., 27(1), pp. 99–105. [CrossRef]
Dassault Systèmes, 2007, Abaqus 6.7 Documentation, Dassault Systèmes, Providence, RI.
Marlow, R. , 2003, “ A General First-Invariant Hyperelastic Constitutive Model,” Constitutive Models for Rubber, CRC Press, Boca Raton / Balkema, Netherlands, pp. 157–160.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) A top view of the basic design layout of an extrusion type seal (variable bore ram BOP) and (b) extrusion deformation of the unit cell—normal displacement (Un) is zero in callout surfaces

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Finite element model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Undeformed sample and (b) deformed sample

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) Dimensions of the subscale test sample and (b) corresponding dimensions of the unit cell

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Bonded elastomer samples that represent the representative unit cell (part 1), (b) extrusion fixture (part 2), and (c) and (d) complete fixture arrangement including rigidly held metal plate (part 3)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Simple compression data of NBR at different temperatures, used for derive hyperelastic model and contact pressure calculation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Nominal strain in midsection of rubber samples for Poisson's ratio 0.47: (a) without sealing and (b) with sealing

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Nominal strain in midsection of rubber samples for Poisson's ratio 0.49: (a) without sealing and (b) with sealing

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

FEA contact pressure results of different sample sizes for sample size scaling rule validation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Load versus displacement—experiment versus FEA

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Comparison of the experimental and FEA contact pressure results at different temperatures: (a) sample at 21 °C, (b) sample at 70 °C, (c) sample at 90 °C, (d) sample at 126 °C, and (e) sample at 160 °C

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Variation of contact pressure with temperature—experiment versus FEA



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In