Simulation and experimentation on the contact width and pressure distribution of lip seals

Chun Ying Lee, Chao Sung Lin, Rui Quan Jian, Chih-yung Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The relative motion between two mated parts of machinery always generates heat from friction. The lubricant serves as a medium not only to reduce the friction but also to enhance heat dissipation. In order to contain the lubrication oil, lip seal is a most frequent sealing part used in these applications. This paper aims to study the contact width and contact pressure of the seal lip under the various interference fits between the shaft and seal. The contact force associated with the pressure was used to estimate the generated heat due to friction. Thereby, this frictional heat flux was employed to analyze the temperature distribution within the rubber seal. According to the temperature distribution, the thermal deformation of the seal and the concern of material ageing can be examined. Since the use of a seal with a shaft under allowable dimension tolerance is foreseeable, the fit with different degree of interference was investigated. On the other hand, a simple apparatus to measure the width and pressure on the contact lip zone under different diameters of shaft was designed and fabricated. The contact width and contact pressure were distilled from the press mark of a pressure-sensitive film. The measurements were used to demonstrate the feasibility and accuracy of the proposed set up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-920
Number of pages6
JournalTribology International
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Contact pressure
  • Contact width
  • Lip seal
  • Pressure-sensitive film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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