A stationary mating ring for a mechanical seal is provided, comprising an annular body having a central axis and a sealing face; a first circumferential groove formed into the body behind the sealing face; and a first annular fin extending radially from the central axis. The mating ring further may include a second circumferential groove formed in the body adjacent to the first circumferential groove, wherein the second circumferential groove defines a second annular fin extending radially from the central axis. Optionally, the first or second annular fins each include a plurality of subdivided fins extending radially from the central axis, and such fins are symmetrically spaced around the central axis. Also provided is a complete mechanical seal, comprising a rotating ring having a sliding interface against a mating ring constructed in accordance with the aforementioned features.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of grant number DE-FG48-02R810707 awarded by the United States Department of Energy.