A hydrodynamically lubricating geometry for the generally circular dynamic sealing lip of rotary seals that are employed to partition a lubricant from an environment. The dynamic sealing lip is provided for establishing compressed sealing engagement with a relatively rotatable surface, and for wedging a film of lubricating fluid into the interface between the dynamic sealing lip and the relatively rotatable surface in response to relative rotation that may occur in the clockwise or the counter-clockwise direction. A wave form incorporating an elongated dimple provides the gradual convergence, efficient impingement angle, and gradual interfacial contact pressure rise that are conducive to efficient hydrodynamic wedging. Skewed elevated contact pressure zones produced by compression edge effects provide for controlled lubricant movement within the dynamic sealing interface between the seal and the relatively rotatable surface, producing enhanced lubrication and low running torque.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with United States government support under Contract No. DE-FG02-05ER84206 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States government therefore has certain rights in this invention.