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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2023, Volume 18, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11465-022-0726-y

Nonlinear sealing force of a seawater balance valve used in an 11000-meter manned submersible

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Balance valve is a core component of the 11000-meter manned submersible “struggle,” and its sealing performance is crucial and challenging when the maximum pressure difference is 118 MPa. The increasing sealing force improves the sealing performance and increases the system’s energy consumption at the same time. A hybrid analytical–numerical–experimental (ANE) model is proposed to obtain the minimum sealing force, ensuring no leakage at the valve port and reducing energy consumption as much as possible. The effects of roundness error, environmental pressure, and materials on the minimum sealing force are considered in the ANE model. The basic form of minimum sealing force equations is established, and the remaining unknown coefficients of the equations are obtained by the finite element method (FEM). The accuracy of the equation is evaluated by comparing the independent FEM data to the equation data. Results of the comparison show good agreement, and the difference between the independent FEM data and equation data is within 3% when the environmental pressure is 0–118 MPa. Finally, the minimum sealing force equation is applied in a balance valve to be experimented using a deep-sea simulation device. The balance valve designed through the minimum sealing force equation is leak-free in the experiment. Thus, the minimum sealing force equation is suitable for the ultrahigh pressure balance valve and has guiding significance for evaluating the sealing performance of ultrahigh pressure balance valves.

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