Finite Element Analysis supplies information to foretell how a seal product will operate beneath certain circumstances and can help identify areas the place the design may be improved with out having to test multiple prototypes.
Here we explain how our engineers use FEA to design optimum sealing options for our buyer applications.
Why will we use Finite Element Analysis (FEA)?
Our engineers encounter many crucial sealing functions with complicating influences. Envelope measurement, housing limitations, shaft speeds, pressure/temperature rankings and chemical media are all application parameters that we should contemplate when designing a seal.
In isolation, the influence of these utility parameters is fairly simple to foretell when designing a sealing solution. However, when you compound numerous these elements (whilst often pushing a few of them to their higher restrict when sealing) it is crucial to foretell what’s going to occur in actual software situations. Using FEA as a software, our engineers can confidently design and then manufacture strong, dependable, and cost-effective engineered sealing options for our customers.
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) permits us to know and quantify the results of real-world circumstances on a seal part or assembly. It can be utilized to establish potential causes the place sub-optimal sealing efficiency has been observed and can be used to guide the design of surrounding elements; particularly for products similar to diaphragms and boots the place contact with adjoining components could must be averted.
The software additionally permits drive information to be extracted in order that compressive forces for static seals, and friction forces for dynamic seals can be precisely predicted to assist clients within the final design of their products.
How will we use FEA?
Starting with a 2D or 3D model of the preliminary design concept, we apply the boundary circumstances and constraints provided by a customer; these can embrace pressure, drive, temperatures, and any utilized displacements. A suitable finite element mesh is overlaid onto the seal design. This ensures that the areas of most curiosity return correct outcomes. We can use bigger mesh sizes in areas with less relevance (or lower levels of displacement) to minimise the computing time required to unravel the mannequin.
Material properties are then assigned to the seal and hardware components. Most sealing materials are non-linear; the amount they deflect under an increase in drive varies depending on how giant that force is. This is in contrast to the straight-line relationship for many metals and inflexible plastics. pressure gauge complicates the fabric model and extends the processing time, but we use in-house tensile check services to accurately produce the stress-strain materials models for our compounds to make sure the evaluation is as consultant of real-world performance as attainable.
What occurs with the FEA data?
The analysis itself can take minutes or hours, depending on the complexity of the part and the range of operating circumstances being modelled. Behind the scenes within the software program, many tons of of hundreds of differential equations are being solved.
The outcomes are analysed by our experienced seal designers to identify areas the place the design may be optimised to match the precise necessities of the application. Examples of these requirements could include sealing at very low temperatures, a need to minimise friction levels with a dynamic seal or the seal may have to resist excessive pressures without extruding; whatever sealing system properties are most important to the client and the applying.
Results for the finalised proposal may be offered to the shopper as force/temperature/stress/time dashboards, numerical information and animations displaying how a seal performs throughout the analysis. This data can be used as validation information in the customer’s system design course of.
An example of FEA
Faced with very tight packaging constraints, this customer requested a diaphragm part for a valve software. By utilizing FEA, we were able to optimise the design; not solely of the elastomer diaphragm itself, but in addition to propose modifications to the hardware elements that interfaced with it to extend the out there area for the diaphragm. This kept materials stress ranges low to take away any possibility of fatigue failure of the diaphragm over the life of the valve.