Research Papers

Three-Dimensional Coupling Analysis of Flow and Thermal Performance of a Mechanical Seal

[+] Author and Article Information
Dazhuan Wu

e-mail: wudazhuan@zju.edu.cn

Leqin Wang

Institute of Process Equipment,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China

Manuscript received February 7, 2013; final manuscript received May 26, 2013; published online October 25, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Srinath V. Ekkad.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 6(1), 011012 (Oct 25, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-13-1048; doi: 10.1115/1.4025057 History: Received February 07, 2013; Revised May 26, 2013

To accurately obtain the flow and temperature field in mechanical seals and investigate the key influencing factors, a numerical analysis of flow and heat transfer in a contact mechanical seal with high-sealing pressure, high-operating temperature, and high-rotational speed is presented. A three-dimensional (3D) computational model consisting of seal rings, surrounding flushing fluid, and other seal components is constructed. fluent, a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, is used to solve the 3D fluid–solid coupling model. Frictional heat, stirred heat, and convection coefficients are focused on in this study to ensure the reliability of the numerical results. The flow field and temperature distributions of the mechanical seal are presented, and the influence of different flushing fluid temperatures, flushing flow rates, and thermal conductivities of the seal rings on heat transfer is discussed. The results show that the stirred heat (accounting for about 10% of the frictional heat in the present mechanical seal) cannot be ignored for high-parameter mechanical seals. The flushing parameters can only influence temperature magnitudes on the seal rings but have minimal effects on the temperature gradients, which, however, can be well improved by adjusting the thermal conductivities of the seal rings.

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Fig. 4

Sectional view of the grids

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Fig. 3

Three-dimensional images of the computational model and the grid model: (a) the seal components; (b) the flushing fluid; (c) the full model; and (d) the grid model

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Fig. 2

Two-dimensional schematic of the numerical model

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the studied mechanical seal

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Fig. 6

Contour plot of static pressure (Pa)

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Fig. 7

Contour plot of velocity magnitude (m/s)

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Fig. 8

Contour of vorticity magnitude (1/s)

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Fig. 9

Velocity vector plot near the seal ring faces

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Fig. 5

Contrast of temperatures in the stationary ring: (a) the numerical model; (b) numerical and experimental results of Ref. [11]; and (c) results from our simulation

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Fig. 10

Temperature distribution on circumferential section 1 (K)

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Fig. 11

Temperature distribution on circumferential section 2 (K)

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Fig. 12

Radical temperature distribution along the contact face

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Fig. 13

Temperature contour plot of flushing fluid (K)

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Fig. 14

Temperature distributions along the contact face under different flushing fluid inlet temperatures

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Fig. 15

Temperature distributions along the contact face under different flushing flow rates

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Fig. 16

Temperature distributions along the contact face under different thermal conductivities of seal rings



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