Computational Simulation for Predicting Flow Through a Belleville Washer Damper Unit

A Patel, D G Tilley, J Darling

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A Belleville washer can be best described as a non flat washer with a conical shape and a uniform cross section. They are also known as disk springs and as the name suggests they are often utilised for their load bearing capabilities. Due to their compactness along the axis of loading and a wide range of attainable load-deflection characteristics they are an attractive alternative to conventional springs. Though Belleville washers are primarily used for their load bearing capabilities, they can also be used to build a damping device; which in turn can be used as part of a suspension system. The non linear deflection of the spring makes it difficult to predict the resulting pressure-flow characteristic and as a result the damper pack is built either by an experienced operative or by a trial and improvement method. Without an analytical tool to predict the behaviour a designer cannot exploit the full functionality of this type of spring. The intension of this paper is to present research undertaken to develop a correlation which describes the pressure drop required for various flow rates when using Belleville washers as damping elements. Using existing load deflection theory an initial model was developed to relate load with pressure and deflection with flow area which could be used to estimate flow rate. The solutions from a computer simulation showed similar trends to those found in the experimental study, but they estimated smaller pressure drops for a given flow rate. It was postulated that the exit velocity of the fluid created a region of low pressure which tended to close the opening and thus increase the pressure drop. This hypothesis was examined and confirmed with a computational fluid dynamic simulation and the results were used to modify the existing model. Analysis of the new model showed good agreement with the experimental study.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007
EventASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition - Seattle, Washington, USA United States
Duration: 1 Nov 2007 → …


ConferenceASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUSA United States
CitySeattle, Washington
Period1/11/07 → …


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