Research Papers: Design and Analysis

Prediction and Measurement of Sealing Properties of Joints Between Wavy Metal Surfaces

[+] Author and Article Information
Julien Bourniquel

CNRS, I2M, UMR5295,
Esplanade des Arts et Métiers,
Talence Cedex 33405, France;
Avenue des Renardières – Ecuelles,
Moret-sur-Loing Cedex 77818, France

Didier Lasseux

CNRS, I2M, UMR5295,
Esplanade des Arts et Métiers,
Talence Cedex 33405, France
e-mail: didier.lasseux@u-bordeaux.fr

Jean-Francois Rit

Avenue des Renardières – Ecuelles,
Moret-sur-Loing Cedex 77818, France

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 12, 2017; final manuscript received July 7, 2018; published online August 2, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Steve J. Hensel.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 140(5), 051203 (Aug 02, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: PVT-17-1258; doi: 10.1115/1.4040894 History: Received December 12, 2017; Revised July 07, 2018

The transmissivity of metal-metal sealing joints is investigated experimentally and compared to predictions obtained by modeling. The focus is laid upon a wavy surface contacting a flat rigid part, representative of a seat-to-plug contact in an internal sealing valve encountered in nuclear power plants for instance. Experimental transmissivities are obtained from water leak-rate and pressure drop measurements carried out on a model ring-shape sample seat holding a controlled wavy defect and pressed against a rigid flat plug with a controlled normal load. The sample seat surface is manufactured by face turning a tubular part under radial stress and waviness is obtained after elastic relaxation. Modeling is performed on a three-dimensional finite element model of the assembly, composed of the plug, the sample seat, and its holder. The upper sample seat surface, in which topography is recorded by confocal microscopy, is reconstructed using a modal decomposition on the basis of vibrational eigenmodes. Its lower surface, in contact with the holder, is considered as perfectly flat or with its own defects. The contact aperture field between the seat and the plug is computed for a given normal load and is used to solve the incompressible Reynolds equation with a boundary element method, yielding the transmissivity. Predicted transmissivities reveal to be in good agreement with experimental data at low clamping loads and are overestimated for larger ones. Defects on the lower surface of the seat are shown to have a significant impact on the seat-to plug contact transmissivity.

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Fig. 2

Schematic representation of the sealing test device

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Fig. 3

Machining of the wavy defect on the sample seat

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Fig. 4

Wavy defect measured by confocal microscopy. Sample a.

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Fig. 5

Leak-rate measurement setup

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Fig. 6

Flow rate versus pressure drop for a clamping load of 12 kN (i.e., an apparent contact pressure Pca = 20.7 MPa)

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Fig. 7

Domain of validity of the low Reynolds approximation for Pca = 50 MPa

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Fig. 9

Geometry of the first 15 defect modes

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Fig. 10

Model construction

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Fig. 11

Aperture field between the upper wavy surface of the sample seat and the plug resulting from contact simulation with an apparent contact pressure Pca = 15.5 MPa. Sample a.

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Fig. 12

Comparison between numerical prediction and experiments: (a) Sample a, (b) Sample b, and (c) Sample c. The relative difference is computed using the experimental values as the reference.

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Fig. 13

Transmissivities obtained from measurements performed on apparatus 1 (see schematic representation in Fig. 5) and 2 (see Ref. [9] for details). Transmissivity obtained with apparatus 1 is used as the reference for the % relative error.

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Fig. 14

Elevation fields on the upper (left column) and lower (right column) surfaces of the sample seats used in the experiments: ((a) and (b)) Sample a, ((c) and (d)) Sample b, and ((e) and (f)) Sample c

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Fig. 15

Comparison of transmissivities obtained experimentally and numerically with and without defect on the lower surface of the sample seat: (a) Sample a, (b) Sample b, and (c) Sample c



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