Models for thermohydrodynamic lubrication in the turbulent regime are developed for a mechanical end face seal with various combinations of asperity height and roughness pattern. A surface wear model, based on deformation, is established for mixed lubrication such that the displacement is at most equal to the mean asperity height. Only normal load is involved in the solution of asperity deformation, and the mean film thickness is determined based on a total volume conservation hypothesis, in conjunction with an elastic-exponential hardening model. The singularity problem, present in the expected form of the Reynolds equation for a seal surface with circumferentially-oriented roughness grain sphere grooves, is avoided by viewing the seal roughness as porous material, thereby introducing roughness permeability. Flow permeability is thus obtained by combining Darcy’s law for porous material with the average flow model developed by Patir and Cheng for mixed lubrication. The hydrodynamic pressure and thereby the hydrodynamic load support are relatively higher from a seal with radially-oriented roughness. Both the mean film thickness and the hydrodynamic load support are substantially elevated by increasing the composite rms roughness, raising the inlet-flow pressure, and decreasing the rotational speed. Good agreement has been obtained from the comparison between the results herein and Lebeck’s experimental results.

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