Background: The dimple distribution has a significant effect on the property of mechanical
seal with dimples, as investigated in recent patents and studies. Specifically, dimples with various distributions
while with the same size were considered in the previous researches, overlooking that different
positions on the seal face have different working conditions. In other words, different positions on
the seal face should have different dimple parameters.
Objective: Thus, the performance of mechanical seal with varying dimple depth along the radial face
was studied in this paper.
Methods: Based on the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method, the three-dimensional flow field
between seal faces with varying dimple depth along the radial direction was numerically solved using
Fluent software. The pressure distribution, opening force and leakage rate under various shaft speeds
were also obtained.
Results: The results show a close relationship between the distribution of dimple depth along the radial
face and sealing performance. Comparing the seal faces with uniform dimple depth, it showed a better
sealing performance when the dimple depth decreased or decreased first, then increased, and at last,
decreased along the leaking direction under the given conditions. Specifically, the opening force increased
when the dimple with smaller depth was located in the high pressure region, while the leakage
rate decreased, when the dimple with smaller depth concentrated in the low pressure region.
Conclusion: It has proved that the seal face with varying dimple parameters should be taken into account
in the design of mechanical seal with dimples.