Non-linear friction in reciprocating hydraulic rod seals: Simulation and measurement

Arthur K Bullock, Derek G Tilley, D Nigel Johnston, Christopher R Bowen, Patrick S Keogh

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7 Citations (SciVal)


Non-linear seal friction can impede the performance of hydraulic actuation systems designed for high precision positioning with favourable dynamic response. Methods for predicting seal friction are required to help develop sealing systems for this type of application. Recent simulation techniques have claimed progress, although have yet to be validated experimentally. A conventional reciprocating rod seal is analysed using established elastohydrodynamic theory and the mixed lubrication Greenwood-Williamson-average Reynolds model. A test rig was used to assess the accuracy of the simulation results for both instroke and outstroke. Inverse hydrodynamic theory is shown to predict a U0.5 power law between rod speed and friction. Comparison with experimental data shows the theory to be qualitatively inaccurate and to predict friction levels an order of magnitude lower than those measured. It was not possible to model the regions very close to the inlet and outlet due to the high pressure gradients at the edges of the contact. The mixed lubrication model produces friction levels within the correct order of magnitude, although incorrectly predicts higher friction during instroke than outstroke. Previous experiments have reported higher friction during instroke than outstroke for rectangular seals, suggesting that the mixed lubrication model used could possibly be suitable for symmetric seals, although not for seal tribology in general.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012009
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009
Event7th International Conference on Modern Practice in Stress and Vibration Analysis, September 8, 2009 - September 10, 2009 - Cambridge, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sept 2009 → …


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