Hyper-Elastic Contact Analysis of a Push-Button Diaphragm Seal

World market pressures demand that corporations continually bring new and innovative products to market as rapidly as possible. Traditional build and test product development methods in today’s competitive markets are too slow, costly, and rarely yield optimized robust product designs. Complex large deflection patterns of rubber diaphragm seals combined with non-linear contact and material behaviors are difficult to calculate utilizing classical methods. Non-linear, Hyper-Elastic contact analysis capabilities found in finite element analysis programs like ANSYS, combined with fast workstations now allow engineers to rapidly evaluate and optimize rubber diaphragm seal designs prior to committing to costly prototypes and tooling. Presented is the non-linear finite element analysis of a rubber diaphragm seal utilizied in a pushbutton design. Analysis considerations encompassed, nonlinear hyper-elastic material behavior of the rubber, large deflection analysis of seal complex motion, and contact analysis with mating parts. Design parameters of primary interest were, seal deflection patterns and seal actuation force as a function of travel. Technologies like finite element analysis play an important role in bringing robust new products of the highest quality to global customers. Product development and analysis teams working together are applying this technology to Seal designs at Rockwell Automation.

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