Surface roughness 3D modelling and its association with leak tightness for a metal-to-metal contacting surface

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This paper presents an overview of a numerical method developed to allow one-way structure-fluid interaction of a scanned representative surface of a Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) measuring 100 um by 100 um to be incorporated into a coupled finite element and computational fluid dynamics model to investigate gas leak rates through micro-gaps in full size metal-to-metal contacting components. The virtual representative surface is created via a real scan using a 3D micro coordinate and surface roughness measurement system. The scan of the physical surface is converted to a CAD format and a finite element model generated which is deformed for a given loading condition. The micro-gaps of the deformed FEA model are extracted and imported into the CFD solver to find the resulting volumetric/mass flow rate for the same set of pressure conditions. This coupled approach allows the leakage rate to be found based on only the surface roughness of metal-to-metal sealing surfaces. This methodology can now be expanded to understand the behaviour and response of metal-to-metal deformable contacting surface components under pressure. Thereafter, the design objective is to minimise or eliminate component leakage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME 2017 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 4: Fluid-Structure Interaction
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2017
EventProceedings of the ASME 2017 Pressure Vessels & Piping Conference - Hawaii, United States
Duration: 16 Jul 201720 Jul 2017


ConferenceProceedings of the ASME 2017 Pressure Vessels & Piping Conference
Abbreviated titlePVP2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • surface roughness
  • 3D modelling
  • leak tightness
  • contacting surface

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