Mechanical seal functioning can be greatly affected by thermal effects and particularly by the coupling of seal face geometry and heat dissipation in the interface. It is necessary to develop new investigation means in order to study accurately such very delicate phenomena. This paper deals with the feasibility of temperature measurements by means of infrared thermography technique. The capabilities of the infrared camera which has been used are examined. A radiation analysis leads to the evaluation of the contributions to the radiant energy received by the camera detector. A first series of results demonstrates clearly the efficiency of the technique. It is shown how the face rotor coning and heat exchanges can be combined in the case of a thermally stable seal operation.

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