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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 792; doi:10.3390/app7080792

Contact Pressure and Strain Energy Density of Hyperelastic U-shaped Monolithic Seals under Axial and Radial Compressions in an Insulating Joint: A Numerical Study

1
Division of Mechanical Design Engineering, College of Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea
2
Department of Bionanosystem Engineering, College of Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea
3
Hemorheology Research Institute, College of Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract

In insulation joints, elastomeric U-shaped monolithic seals (UMSs) are replacing O-ring systems because of their enhanced sealing capabilities for the oil and gas industries. UMSs are compressed axially during assembly and radially when pressurized in operation. The reliability of UMSs due to the displacement imposed during assembly and the internal pressure in operation is influenced by the axial compression ratio, thickness ratio (TR), and geometric complexity. In this study, the hyperelastic behavior of elastomeric UMSs under axial and radial compressions is investigated using axisymmetric finite-element analysis. Twelve examples of UMSs with three geometric restraints (open grooves on both sides (type 1), an open groove on one side only (type 2), and no groove (type 3)) and four thickness ratios (TR = 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, and 1.50) are evaluated. To analyze nonlinear elastomeric materials, neo-Hookean constitutive equations are applied and the UMSs are considered as being a nearly incompressible hyperelastic material with a Poisson’s ratio of 0.499. The failure and detachment risks of UMSs are analyzed in terms of the equivalent stress, gap distance, contact pressure, and strain energy density. It is advantageous that the smaller the TR, the smaller the stress distribution. However, the generation of broader detachment regions is observed. Type 1 symmetrically shows the lowest stress distribution and the smallest detachment region, whereas type 3 symmetrically shows the highest values. Type 3 (TR = 0.25) shows the broadest detachment region in the arc-length range from −15.7 to 15.7 mm, whereas the largest gap of 0.7 mm is observed in type 2 (TR = 0.5). For all types, the detachment region disappears completely at TR = 1.0 or higher, which implies that full sealing is occurring. The average contact pressure increases exponentially during axial compression (in assembly) and linearly during radial compression (in operation). The largest contact pressure of 31.5 MPa is observed in type 3 (TR = 1.5), while the lowest is observed in type 1 (TR = 0.25). As for the strain energy density, type 3 at TR = 0.25 shows the largest increase in the strain energy density with 1.75 MJ/m3, while type 1 shows the most stable values of all cases. In conclusion, the lowest risk of failure of a nonlinear hyperelastic UMS was investigated numerically with minor equivalent stress and detachment region with higher contact pressure, which can be taken into account to ensure the reliability of the UMS. View Full-Text
Keywords: U-shaped monolithic seal; hyperelastic material; insulating joint; strain energy density; contact pressure U-shaped monolithic seal; hyperelastic material; insulating joint; strain energy density; contact pressure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jung, J.; Hwang, I.; Lee, D. Contact Pressure and Strain Energy Density of Hyperelastic U-shaped Monolithic Seals under Axial and Radial Compressions in an Insulating Joint: A Numerical Study. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 792.

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