Hydrodynamic effects in a flat seal having an angular misalignment are analyzed, taking into account the radial variation in seal clearance. An analytical solution for axial force, restoring moment, and transverse moment is presented that covers the whole range from zero to full angular misalignment. Both low pressure seals with cavitating flow and high pressure seals with full fluid film are considered. Strong coupling is demonstrated between angular misalignment and transverse moment which leads the misalignment vector by 90 degrees. This transverse moment, which is entirely due to hydrodynamic effects, may be a significant factor in seal operating mechanism.

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