A film thickness equation for mechanical face seals

H. Lubbinge, P.D. Wijlhuizen, Dirk J. Schipper

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


    Due to environmental demands it is important for mechanical face seals to minimize the leakage. Because the leakage due to pressure flow is proportional to the third power of the separation of the faces, it is therefore necessary to reduce this separation in order to minimize the leakage. Geometrical features (coning and waviness) in combination with the operational conditions, do affect the separation between the faces. In order to know the separation between the faces, a film thickness equation is required, which is a function of geometrical features (coning, waviness and face dimensions) and the operational conditions (fluid pressure, cavitation pressure, rotating speed and viscosity of the fluid). In this paper a film thickness equation has been derived, based on dimensionless numbers, for a seal combination where one face is flat and the other may have coning and/or waviness. The dimensionless numbers contain the aforementioned parameters. Furthermore, the effect of the waviness, coning, seal dimension and cavitation pressure on the leakage, the friction and the film thickness are presented for three different lubrication modes, i.e. a) hydrostatic, b) hydrodynamic and c) combined hydrostatic and hydrodynamic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAUSTRIB '98, Tribology at Work
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 5th International Tribology Conference in Australia, Brisbane 6-9 December 1998
    Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
    PublisherInstitution of Engineers (Australia)
    ISBN (Print)9781864450019
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 1998
    Event5th International Tribology Conference in Australia, AUSTRIB 1998: Tribology at work - Brisbane, Australia
    Duration: 6 Dec 19989 Dec 1998
    Conference number: 5


    Conference5th International Tribology Conference in Australia, AUSTRIB 1998
    Abbreviated titleAUSTRIB 1998

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