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Unique Sealing Solution for Innovative Welding Method

1 week ago

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Jackweld design, build and commission specialist machinery for a range of clients.

FPE Seals were approached to help them with a sealing solution, while they were developing a new orbital friction welding method for the EU project: WRIST.

After a third party recommended us, Jackweld got in touch to discuss their unique requirements.

Requirements

Jackweld are working on developing innovative welding methods for joining rail tracks. The new innovations aim to deliver increased reliability, a longer lifetime of the rails and welds, combined with a reduction of the maintenance cost.

The high energy application that Jackweld had designed, required a seal for an internal diameter that was rotating at speed and spinning off-centre. The problem Jackweld faced with the machinery design, was finding a seal that would work effectively on a moving object that was constantly compressing and relaxing.

Unique seal challenges presented;

A) An orbiting Seal (a secondary seal which is constantly compressing and relaxing with each cycle). No such remotely similar seal existing before, or even one which could be adapted.

B) A face seal, which seals against an orbiting face at 2000 rpm and seals against 500 litres per minute of hot hydrodynamic journal oil. No such remotely similar seal existing before, or even one which could be adapted.

The Solution

Staurt Jackman, Managing Director of Jackweld worked with our experienced team and following in-depth discussion, deliberating different designs and drawings, they agreed on the perfect sealing solution. This was then manufactured in-house by the FPE Seals expert machined seals team.

The final solution for the orbiting seal was a bespoke cup seal made from Polyurethane, with an extra long lip that would seal against the oscillating diameter. The final solution for the face seal was based on a large bronze-filled PTFE ring with three lubrication grooves, to seal the end of the application which rotates against a stainless-steel plate. 

Bronze-filled face seal
Bronze-filled face seal
Polyurethane orbiting seal
Polyurethane orbiting seal

Detailed collaboration took place between the FPE engineers and design engineers at Jackweld. His ensured the optimum integration of the seal design into the machine design.

The entire machine design was revolutionary in every way and the most critical aspect was the design and development of the oil seals without which the concept could never have worked.

Testing proved that the sealing was a success first time! All worked well, with both seals withstanding the rigors of the speeds, temperature and vibrations.

Jackweld were then able to complete their WRIST prototype, ready for the new welding method to be tested for the EU project.

Stuart Jackman, Managing Director of Jackweld said, “The most critical part of the entire project was the oil seals. No such seals had ever been produced before and there was no prior art to go on.

“We had to develop them from scratch. If the seals did not work 100% effectively first time the project would have failed because there would not have been time or funds to take the machine apart, design, develop and install improved seals.

“The success of the project and the technological achievements literally revolved around the innovative FPE oil seals, which were the critical showstopper for the project.”.

Jackweld's welding WRIST
Jackweld's welding WRIST
Both seals applied to WRIST
Both seals applied to WRIST