A non-contacting sealing concept is presented which employs an elasto-hydrodynamic principle to reduce an initially large gap between seal and counter-surface to a small value for tolerable leakage. The seal is a circular ring, made of polymeric material to enable the intended radial deformation. It has basically rectangular cross section but two slightly conical surfaces: The outer girthed area in order to get a hydrostatic feedback from the pressure field in the sealing gap; and the lower pressure sided front face to limit the radial ring deflection. An analytical model based on a perfect geometry assumption demonstrates the function principle and analysis the role of main design parameters. An FEM model which can take complex ring deformation and partial contact of seal with its counter-surface into account shows a deeper insight to effects not covered by the analytical model and shows a reasonable agreement with experimental investigations made with a prototype.

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