Companies operating in major works, such as underground and submarine tunnels drilling and construction, struggle to find customized sealing systems for large diameters. In particular, tunnellingand drilling are characterized by the constant presence of dust, therefore it is necessary to study specific sealing systems capable of withstanding external agents and high temperatures in order to protect the machinery.
One of our customers, operating in drilling industry, asked us to realize a seal able to recover from an eccentricity of 10 mm with respect to the axis, on a pipe with a diameter of over 700 mm, therefore not feasible by horizontal axis turning,
Eccentricity recovery was possible using a particular “Z” seal. This was able to prevent sea water infiltration, even in presence of pressures up to 3 BAR inside the tunnel, despite the misalignment. The seal was made by vertical axis turning; this technology is generally used in ATP for production of large seals with diameters up to 2500 mm, regardless of whether they are small batches or large productions orders.
The use of FEM technology was fundamental during the design phase. Thanks to the finite element analysis it was in fact possible to simulate the eccentricity of the parts and the operating conditions described by the customer. The use of FEM analysis allowed us to carry out preliminary studies on the application with considerable savings in terms of time and prototyping costs.
This system offers maximum flexibility and allows us to optimize the delivery performance. This technology can be also used to realize seals for large presses, hydroelectric applications and mining industry.
Thanks to the Z-shaped geometry and the sizing obtained through the FEM analysis, it was possible creating a solution capable of managing eccentricities of 10 mm.
“Thanks to the ATP self-adaptive seal (patent MI2006A002057) we did not have to significantly modify the pipe or implement an expensive guide rail system.” R&D Technical Office