Journal of Marine Science and Application

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 224–232 | Cite as

Structural Design and Performance Analysis of a Deep-Water Ball Joint Seal

  • Yongjun Hou
  • Qian TangEmail author
  • Zhixing Wu
  • Xiaoming Liu
Research Article


To overcome the current difficulties of high-precision machining and the high manufacturing and maintenance costs of spherical seals for deep-water drilling ball joints, a new spherical seal technique is proposed in this paper. The spherical seal is mainly composed of silicone rubber and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Rational structural design makes the seal independent from the ball and other components, making it easy to replace if leakage occurs at its surface. PTFE can elastically deform over a certain deformation range, which guarantees that two sealing surfaces fit tightly together. O-Ring and PTFE elasticity makes up for any lack of accuracy during spherical machining and decreases the machining precision requirements for spherical surfaces. Using a finite element technique and nonlinear theory, the performance of the spherical seal under the influence of various factors is determined. The results show that the spherical seal designed in this paper exhibits excellent sealing performance under low-temperature and high-pressure conditions. The spherical seal, a combination of an O-ring and PTFE, has the advantages of cheap manufacturing and maintenance costs and excellent sealing performance.


Deep-water drilling Ball joint Spherical seal Nonlinear theory Finite element technique Sealing performance 


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Copyright information

© Harbin Engineering University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongjun Hou
    • 1
  • Qian Tang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhixing Wu
    • 2
  • Xiaoming Liu
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Electrical EngineeringSouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Offshore Oil Engineering Co., Ltd. Special Equipment CompanyTianjinChina

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