The present invention is a generally circular rotary seal that establishes sealing between relatively rotatable machine components for lubricant retention and environmental exclusion, and incorporates seal geometry that interacts with the lubricant during relative rotation to distribute a lubricant film within the dynamic sealing interface. The features of a variable inlet size, a variable dynamic lip flank slope, and a reduction in the magnitude and circumferentially oriented portion of the lubricant side interfacial contact pressure zone at the narrowest part of the lip, individually or in combination thereof, serve to maximize interfacial lubrication in severe operating conditions, and also serve to minimize lubricant shear area, seal torque, seal volume, and wear, while ensuring retrofitability into the seal grooves of existing equipment.
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.