Machine Design

Seal design made easy

EASi-Seal software shows the net compression versus net force analysis for two different seal designs.

A software package takes the guesswork out of designing proper seals. EASi-Seal software from EASi Inc., Madison Hts., Mich., rapidly assesses multiple seal-design concepts. "EASi-Seal provides the fastest method of optimizing designs for virtually any type of body seal," said Swamy Ava, IT Services Technical Director for EASi Engineering. "Its integrated environment captures the complete workflow of the seal design process, including geometry definition, simulation, and results." New designs can be created and evaluated in less than 30 min, making it possible for designers to produce better seals in a fraction of the time. Users can run several jobs using the software queuing system, which solves multiple iterations overnight. EASi-Seal is also one of the first engineering software packages written in Java that runs on virtually any hardware platform, including PCs and Unix workstations.

The software follows the seal design process. Engineers import seal geometry and define materials for the seal and body. The program performs a nonlinear finite-element analysis and provides all the information needed to determine seal performance, such as compression load-deflection (CLD) curves, seal deformation, stresses, and contact-pressure distribution. Users can quickly modify the initial design, run iterations, and analyze the results. A designer can assess several seal concepts in a single day, a process that would take several days using conventional CAE tools. This leads to a variety of "what if" studies and a better understanding of seal performance. EASi-Seal also lets designers balance sealing pressures and closing forces. For example, the requirement to prevent air and water leaks directly conflicts with the requirement for minimal closing effort.

The program generates all of the information required by the designer, including animation of the seal cross section while deforming, CLD (load/deflection) curves, stress/strain contours, and pressure distributions. Animations of the seal cross section gives engineers an intuitive understanding of the seal performance, which often aids in improving the design through subsequent iterations.

The CLD curve can be shown on the same screen with the curve used to control the portion of the animation that is viewed. The stress/strain contours indicate hot-spots, and pressure profiles give insight into leakage and wind noise prevention.

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