A numerical model of an elastomeric reciprocating hydraulic rod seal has been constructed. The model consists of coupled fluid mechanics, deformation mechanics and contact mechanics analyses, with an iterative computational procedure. The fluid mechanics analysis consists of the solution of the Reynolds equation, using flow factors to account for surface roughness. Deformation of the seal is computed through the use of influence coefficients, obtained from an off-line finite element analysis. The contact mechanics analysis uses the Greenwood and Williamson model. The seal model is used to predict leakage rate, friction force, fluid and contact pressure distributions, and film thickness distribution. Results for a typical seal show that the seal operates with mixed lubrication, and the seal roughness plays an important role in determining whether or not the seal leaks.

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