Dynamic separation phenomena in spring-supported rotary face seals are studied, employing a mathematical model which simulates the dynamic response characteristics of the system. Parameters considered in the model include support resilience, amplitude of shaft pulsation and mating ring wobble, initial preset, operating frequency, and contact surface friction. Inclusion of contact friction necessitates consideration of dynamic coupling in the equations governing the motion of the seal carrier. Combinations of operating conditions and system variables which produce incipient mechanical separation are predicted by examining the behavior of the contact force distribution between the seal and mating ring. Equations and graphs are presented which specify the theoretical preset required to maintain continuous contact as a function of the system parameters considered in the analysis.

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