A new test service introduced by Bal Seal Engineering, Inc. (Foothill Ranch, CA) offers OEMs verified performance results for Bal Seal® spring-energized rotary/face seals used in aerospace and defense gimbal applications. Bal Seal Engineering’s gimbal seal test equipment measures friction and leak rate using customer-defined hardware tolerances and operating conditions, including pressure and speed.

Fixtures can accommodate seals up to 22 in. OD, and can be modified for larger seal dimensions. The fixtures can produce a wide range of pressures and exert specific frictional forces to accurately simulate a seal’s performance under real-world conditions. Rotating plates on the fixtures are connected to digital force testers, which measure the friction of rotation. A vacuum tester simulates air flow over the gimbal during flight. The tester pulls a vacuum across the plates, creating suction inside the seal to measure the leak rate across its surface. Both friction and leak rate are measured simultaneously.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2015 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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