Our customer, a component manufacturer, needed to reduce the pressure loss in their valve. At the same time, the sealing was to be optimized.

The particular challenge was that there were extreme variations in the temperature of the medium flowing through the valve, and the O-rings experienced temperature variations of around 120° C in a very short period. The customer had already carried out some tests by trial and error, but had not achieved a satisfactory result. After we were recommended to them, we first of all investigated the status quo. We needed to understand the customer’s process in order to derive the (mathematical) boundary conditions for the simulation. Based on this, we were able to construct a multi-physics model of the existing situation, consisting of:

  • CFD simulations taking into account the degree of valve opening
  • A thermal conduction model of the housing
  • A thermal conduction model of the O-ring

compared with the customer’s trials, thus validating the model. This was particularly important to our customer, as they had so far had little experience with simulations and wanted to see the trust they had put in us confirmed on paper.

Using this validated model, focused optimizations could now be carried out via simulation. During this phase, our engineers worked in close cooperation with the customer’s design department, who of course were very experienced with this special component and its manufacture.

The result was that we were not only able to reduce the pressure loss coefficient, but by optimizing the seal geometry we were able to achieve a significantly lower leakage rate in the closed state.

This “workflow” has proven so successful that this customer now regularly asks us to support them in the optimization of their components.