A Lubrication Design Optimization of Mechanical Face Seal

미케니컬 페이스 실의 유활 최적설계

  • Published : 2000.12.01


A mechanical face seal is a tribo-element intended to control leakage of working fluid at the interface of a rotating shaft and its housing. Leakage of working fluid decreases drastically as the clearance between mating seal faces gets smaller. But the very small clearance may result in an increased reduction of seal life because of high wear and heat generation. Therefore, in the design of mechanical face seals a compromise between low leakage and acceptable seal life is important, ant it present a difficult and practical design problem. A fluid film or sealing dam geometry of the seal clearance affects seal lubrication performance very much, and thereby is optimization is one of the main design consideration. in this study the Reynolds equation for the sealing dam of mechanical face seals is numerically analyzed, using the Galerkin finite element method, which is readily applied to various seal geometries, to give lubrication performances, such as opening force, restoring moment, leakage, and axial and angular stiffness coefficients. Then, to improve the seal performance an optimization is performed, considering various design variables simultaneously. For the tested case the optimization ha successfully resulted in the optimal design values of outer and inner seal radii, coning, seal clearance, and balance radius while satisfying all the operation subjected constraints and design variable side-constraints, and improvements of axial and angular stiffness coefficients by 16.8% and 2.4% respectively and reduction of leakage by 38.4% have been achieved.


Mechanical Face Seal;Reynolds Equations;Gelerkin Finite Element Method;Coning;Tilt;Lubrication Performance;Optimization


  1. Park, H. W., 1997, 'Automated Code Generation for Optimal Design of Mechanical Systems,' Masters thesis, Hanyang Univ., Seoul, Korea
  2. Green, I. and Etsion, I., 1983, 'Fluid Film Dynamic Coefficients in Mechanical Face Seals,' ASME Trans. Journal of Lubrication Technology, Vol. 105, No. 1, pp. 61-70
  3. Vanderplaats, G. N., 1985, ADS-A FORTRAN Program for Automated Design Synthesis Version 1.10, Engineering Design Optimization, Inc.
  4. Vanderplaats, G. N., 1984, Numerical Optimization Techniques for Engineering Design with Application, McGraw-Hill Book Co.
  5. Etsion, I., 1980, 'The Effect of Combined Coning and Waviness on The Separation Force in Mechanical Face Seals,' Journal Mechanical Engineering Science, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 59-64
  6. Etsion, I. and Sharoni, A., 1980, 'Performance of End-Face Seals with Diametral Tilt and Conning-Hydrostatic Effects,' ASLE Trans., Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 279-288
  7. Sharoni, A., and Etsion, I., 1981, 'Performance of End-Face Seals with Diametral Tilt and Conning-Hydrodynamic Effects,' ASLE Trans., Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 61-70
  8. Lebeck, A. O., 1991, Principles and Design of Mechanical Face Seals, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  9. Taylor, T. A., 1992, 'A Finite Element Based Model of Gas/Liquid Mechanical Seals,' Maters thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A