Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Lyndon S. Stephens

Second Advisor

Dr. Jonathan F. Wenk


A thorough investigation on the existing hydrodynamic lubrication theories and the reverse pumping theories for the conventional lip seal is conducted. On that basis, the algorithms and the methods used in the numerical modeling of the conventional lip seal are modified and applied to the study of the lip seal running against surface textured shafts. For each step of the study, the numerical model is benchmarked against the experimental results. Important physical mechanisms which explain the reverse pumping ability of the triangular surface structures are revealed. Meanwhile, the accuracy of the numerical model is tested. In general, the numerical simulation results match the experimental observation well. However, there are several important discrepancies. For each discrepancy the possible causes are discussed, which benefits the further attempts of the modeling work on the lip seal running against surface textured shafts. The conclusions of this study themselves can be used as a guidance to the design of the surface textured shafts for the lip seal applications. Finally the limitation of the current theories and the modeling methods are discussed and reasonable improvements which can be done are proposed for the future work.

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