Paper Title
A Comprehensive Study of Loading and Motion Characteristics of a Mechanical Sealing System as a Precursor to a Tribological Analysis

The Tribological study of a Mechanical sealing material demands a comprehensive knowledge of the complex loading and motion characteristics of the seal in real world application. As the influence of time dependent loads on wear is a fairly unexplored area in carbon composites, it is important to explore methodologies by which the actual loading and motion patterns of seals may be measured or evaluated. Mechanical Seals assembled in Rotary Unions used in Paper manufacturing were used for analysis in this study. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was utilized to simulate the loading conditions of the seal in order to evaluate the strain in the axial direction, contact pressures and motion characteristics. Strain Gauges were fixed on to an industrial grade Antimony impregnated Graphite seal and assembled into a Rotary Union, and it was subjected to high pressure environment along with unbalanced external loads in order to measure the strain in static condition. The strain readings were observed to fairly match with the FEA results, validating FEA as a tool for estimating loads experienced by a seal and thereby to evaluate the maximum contact pressures. In order to measure the loads and movement in dynamic conditions, a load cell, two Infra Red (IR) sensors and two dial gauges were incorporated to a rig on to which Rotary Joint was mounted and tested. Hence methodology of combining the load data obtained through FEA, strain gauge measurements and torque tests to determine the test parameters for a variably loaded Pin on Disc test is explored. Keywords - Contact Pressure Estimation, Antimony Impregnated Graphite, Finite Element Analysis, Time Dependent Loading, Strain Gauges