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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

The Percolation of Liquid Through a Compliant Seal—An Experimental and Theoretical Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Sorin-Cristian Vlădescu

Tribology Group,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Imperial College London,
South Kensington, Exhibition Road,
London SW7 2AZ, UK
e-mail: s.vladescu12@imperial.ac.uk

Carmine Putignano

TriboLAB-Dipartimento di Meccanica,
Matematica e Management, Politecnico di Bari,
Bari 70126, Italy
e-mail: carmine.putignano@poliba.it

Nigel Marx

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Imperial College London,
South Kensington, Exhibition Road,
London SW7 2AZ, UK
e-mail: nigel.marx11@imperial.ac.uk

Tomas Keppens

Toyota Motor Europe, NV/SA,
Hoge Wei 33 Technical Centre,
Zaventem B-1930, Belgium
e-mail: Tomas.Keppens@toyota-europe.com

Tom Reddyhoff

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Imperial College London,
South Kensington, Exhibition Road,
London SW7 2AZ, UK
e-mail: t.reddyhoff@imperial.ac.uk

Daniele Dini

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Imperial College London,
South Kensington, Exhibition Road,
London SW7 2AZ, UK
e-mail: d.dini@imperial.ac.uk

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received March 5, 2018; final manuscript received July 20, 2018; published online September 10, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Matevz Dular.

J. Fluids Eng 141(3), 031101 (Sep 10, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: FE-18-1149; doi: 10.1115/1.4041120 History: Received March 05, 2018; Revised July 20, 2018

New apparatus is described to simulate a compliant seal interface, allowing the percolation of liquid to be viewed by a fluorescence microscope. A model, based on the boundary element (BE) methodology, is used to provide a theoretical explanation of the observed behavior. The impact of contact pressure, roughness, and surface energy on percolation rates are characterized. For hydrophilic surfaces, percolation will always occur provided a sufficient number of roughness length scales are considered. However, for hydrophobic surfaces, the inlet pressure must overcome the capillary pressure exerted at the minimum channel section before flow can occur.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram showing the change in pressure profile over time. Note: This representation ignores meniscus effects.

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Fig. 2

Schematic representation of the loading system

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Fig. 3

Fluorescence microscope setup: (a) photograph and (b) schematic diagram

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Fig. 4

Profiles showing the surface roughness of the two rubber specimens: (a) smooth rubber specimen, Rz = 9 μm; Ra = 1.5 μm; Rq = 1.9 μm and (b) rough rubber specimen, Rz = 36 μm; Ra = 6.9 μm; Rq = 8.9 μm

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Fig. 5

Series of successive images obtained using the fluorescence microscope, showing the progression of dye from right to left across the field of view (test specimen: rubber B, contact pressure: 0.015 MPa, time interval between two images: 200ms)

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Fig. 6

Series of successive images obtained using the fluorescence microscope, showing the progression of dye and interaction with asperities (test specimen: rubber B, contact pressure: 0.15 MPa, time interval between two images: 100 ms)

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Fig. 7

Average image intensity versus time for three different applied loads (test specimen: rubber B)

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Fig. 8

Series of successive images obtained using the fluorescence microscope, showing the progression of dye from right to left across the field of view (test specimen: rubber B, contact pressure: 0.15 MPa)

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Fig. 9

Plots of leak rate versus contact pressure for a range of water contact angles: (a) tests performed using the smooth rubber A and (b) tests performed using the rough rubberB

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Fig. 10

Plots of leak rate versus water contact angles for a range of contact pressures: (a) tests performed using the smooth rubber A and (b) tests performed using the rough rubberB

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Fig. 11

Variation in leak rate under a range of conditions showing effect of surface roughness

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Fig. 12

Experimentally measured PSD of the rough interface between the glass disk and the rubber B sample and PSD of numerical surfaces with different number of scales N

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Fig. 13

Contact solution at the percolation threshold: (a) light green regions refer to non-percolating non-contact region, adjacent red areas to contact cluster and, finally, we have the percolating channel in dark blue, and (b) local gap height s(x, y) in the percolating channel

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Fig. 15

Contour map of the capillary pressure and, equivalently, on the area A/A0, as a function of the contact angle θ and the dimensionless load σ0/E*. The calculations are carried out for N = 64.

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Fig. 14

(a) Contact area A/A0 as a function of the dimensionless load σ0/E* and (b) percolation threshold for different number of scales

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