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Balancing Friction &
Sealing Effectiveness
in Gimbal Design
• Housings that contain sensitive
electronic instruments for scanning,
radar detecting, weapons targeting
& other uses
• At work in air, on land, at sea
• Must deliver optimal performance –
failure can impact mission success,
& even cost lives
GIMBALS
2
B A L S E A L . C O M
PHOTO: UNITED STATES NAVY
• Aircraft
 Fighter/helicopter/UAV
 High vibration, fast moving,
demand for more accuracy
• Shipboard
 Environmental factors such as
moisture & corrosion
• Land-based
 High rotational/speed
requirements
COMMON GIMBAL ENVIRONMENTS
B A L S E A L . C O M 3
• C4ISR gimbals/pods
• High Energy laser turrets
• LaserComm gimbals
COMMON GIMBAL APPLICATIONS
B A L S E A L . C O M 4
TOP GIMBAL OPERATING REQUIREMENTS
• Extreme precision
 Perform high-speed bi-
directional rotation with
great accuracy,
consistency
▸ At longer distances,
even tiny pointing
variances = large target
deviations
• Survivability
 Exposed to extreme
temps, pressure
variations
 May be subject to:
▸ IPX standards for air,
sand, dust
▸ MIL-STD for vibration,
other conditions
5
B A L S E A L . C O M
• SWaP-readiness
 Rotate with minimal
torque, using smallest
motors to meet strict
size, weight & power
requirements
1 2 3
• Protect sensitive
electronics in harsh
environments
• Must not impede
precision targeting,
regardless of conditions
(high speed, high
vibration, adverse
weather)
GIMBAL SEALS: A CRITICAL ELEMENT
B A L S E A L . C O M 6
Gimbal System Goals Sealing Challenges
Targeting, tracking, acquiring accuracy Stick-slip & dynamic friction
Minimize power consumption Optimize size, weight & agility (SWaP)
Meet ingress protection rating (IPXX)
Sealing ability against
environmental contamination
Survive under extreme conditions Speed, thermal cycling, pressure differentials
Comply w/MIL-STD specs E.g. Mechanical vibrations
GIMBAL SEALING: GOALS VS. CHALLENGES
7
B A L S E A L . C O M
THE FRICTION FACTOR
• In gimbals, friction …
 Exhibits highly non-linear
behavior
 Is a function of rate
 Is dramatic when transitioning
through zero rate (stiction)
 Can compromise precision
pointing/stability
 Impacts max slew rates and
acceleration
 Is influenced by temp, pressure,
surface finish, condition of
materials
 Affects power consumption
8
B A L S E A L . C O M
Model showing irregularities in surface finish
• Low friction and low stiction
 Necessary for precision pointing and stability
 Drives the selection of other system components
• Sealing efficiency
 Sealing while still meeting friction requirements is
critical
 Prevention of environmental contamination
 Sealing moisture, dirt, salt, dust, etc.
• Survivability
 Large temperature range (from -40 °C to 60 °C),
vibration conditions, rotation, high speed
• Seal life
 Meet field maintenance requirements
KEY SEAL PERFORMANCE CONSIDERATIONS
9
B A L S E A L . C O M
• Jacket material choice
 Polymers, such as filled PTFE, with low friction
coefficient
• Energizer choice
 Controllable force for optimal balance of sealing
effectiveness
• Profile/geometry
 Minimal contact without compromising sealing
performance
• Size/diameter
 Low cross-section to diameter ratio
• Additional factors
 Media type (dry, abrasive, lubricating)
 Seal usage after thermal cycling
 Pressure and speed
KEY SEAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
B A L S E A L . C O M 10
Seal in naval-based
IRST
• Using a canted coil spring
energizer can:
 Promote seal lip contact &
consistency in operation
 Compensate for tolerance
variations, misalignment &
vibration
 Ensure effective sealing force is
maintained under adverse
conditions
▸Weather, speed, elevation,
extreme temperatures
• Controlled force of spring coils
helps balance friction & sealing
performance
THE ENERGIZER: A CLOSER LOOK
11
B A L S E A L . C O M
CASE STUDY: AIRBORNE LASER-OPTICAL SYSTEM
Features Requirements
Pressurized Yes
Inner diameter 125 mm
Speed 30 to 40 RPM
Service type Rotary, oscillating
Media Nitrogen + air, particles
Temp range -90 to +90 °C
Seal pressure 0 to 1.4 Bars
Back pressure 0 to 1.4 Bars
Ingress protection IP67
Frictional torque 0.9 Nm
B A L S E A L . C O M 12
SOLUTION: AIRBORNE LASER-OPTICAL SYSTEM SEAL
 Provided in-depth frictional torque analysis
 Met low-friction rate in specification
 Protected optics to specification
Dynamic lip
geometry to
minimize friction
Canted coil spring
applying consistent
light force to minimize
friction
Locking ring to easily
press into hardware
Engineered
polymer material Thin, flexible
hinge point
B A L S E A L . C O M 13
• To achieve optimal accuracy and durability while meeting SWaP, IPX, and other requirements, look for
these seal characteristics:
SEALING SUCCESS FACTORS
14
B A L S E A L . C O M
• To eliminate costly mistakes and delays,
consider sealing requirements as part of
overall system design
• In early design stages, collaborate with
Bal Seal Engineering to:
 Custom design a seal that meets all your
system/application requirements
 Produce high-quality seal prototypes
 Perform seal testing to verify performance
▸ Friction testing
▸ Dynamic leak vs. friction testing
▸ Pressure
▸ Spray-down
 Transition successful prototype to full production -
100 to 1M+ units
SUMMARY & RECOMMENDATIONS
B A L S E A L . C O M 15
RESOURCES & CONTACT INFORMATION
16
B A L S E A L . C O M
solutions@balseal.com www.balseal.com +1 949.460.2100 Design request form
May 23 © Copyright, Bal Seal Engineering, LLC. This document contains and/or refers to information that is PROPRIETARY to Bal Seal Engineering, LLC, and may not be reproduced, copied, published,
or distributed in any form or disclosed to a third party, in whole or in part, without the written authorization of an officer of Bal Seal Engineering, LLC. Products are the subject of issued or pending
United States and foreign patents. Products of Bal Seal Engineering, LLC and this document are PROPRIETARY and products may not be manufactured, or caused to be manufactured, by any other
party.
Americas
Bal Seal Engineering
19650 Pauling, Foothill Ranch, CA
92610-2610
Telephone +1 949 460 2100 or
Toll Free +1 800 366 1006
Fax +1 949 460 2300
Europe, Middle East, Africa
Bal Seal Engineering Europe BV
VIDA Building, 1st Floor
Kabelweg 57
1014 BA Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 638 6523
FAX: +31 20 625 6018
Asia Pacific
Bal Seal Engineering
Suite 701, Chinachem Century Tower
178 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong
Kong
Telephone +852 28681860
Fax +852 22956753

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Balancing Friction & Sealing Effectiveness in Gimbal Design

  • 1. Balancing Friction & Sealing Effectiveness in Gimbal Design
  • 2. • Housings that contain sensitive electronic instruments for scanning, radar detecting, weapons targeting & other uses • At work in air, on land, at sea • Must deliver optimal performance – failure can impact mission success, & even cost lives GIMBALS 2 B A L S E A L . C O M PHOTO: UNITED STATES NAVY
  • 3. • Aircraft  Fighter/helicopter/UAV  High vibration, fast moving, demand for more accuracy • Shipboard  Environmental factors such as moisture & corrosion • Land-based  High rotational/speed requirements COMMON GIMBAL ENVIRONMENTS B A L S E A L . C O M 3
  • 4. • C4ISR gimbals/pods • High Energy laser turrets • LaserComm gimbals COMMON GIMBAL APPLICATIONS B A L S E A L . C O M 4
  • 5. TOP GIMBAL OPERATING REQUIREMENTS • Extreme precision  Perform high-speed bi- directional rotation with great accuracy, consistency ▸ At longer distances, even tiny pointing variances = large target deviations • Survivability  Exposed to extreme temps, pressure variations  May be subject to: ▸ IPX standards for air, sand, dust ▸ MIL-STD for vibration, other conditions 5 B A L S E A L . C O M • SWaP-readiness  Rotate with minimal torque, using smallest motors to meet strict size, weight & power requirements 1 2 3
  • 6. • Protect sensitive electronics in harsh environments • Must not impede precision targeting, regardless of conditions (high speed, high vibration, adverse weather) GIMBAL SEALS: A CRITICAL ELEMENT B A L S E A L . C O M 6
  • 7. Gimbal System Goals Sealing Challenges Targeting, tracking, acquiring accuracy Stick-slip & dynamic friction Minimize power consumption Optimize size, weight & agility (SWaP) Meet ingress protection rating (IPXX) Sealing ability against environmental contamination Survive under extreme conditions Speed, thermal cycling, pressure differentials Comply w/MIL-STD specs E.g. Mechanical vibrations GIMBAL SEALING: GOALS VS. CHALLENGES 7 B A L S E A L . C O M
  • 8. THE FRICTION FACTOR • In gimbals, friction …  Exhibits highly non-linear behavior  Is a function of rate  Is dramatic when transitioning through zero rate (stiction)  Can compromise precision pointing/stability  Impacts max slew rates and acceleration  Is influenced by temp, pressure, surface finish, condition of materials  Affects power consumption 8 B A L S E A L . C O M Model showing irregularities in surface finish
  • 9. • Low friction and low stiction  Necessary for precision pointing and stability  Drives the selection of other system components • Sealing efficiency  Sealing while still meeting friction requirements is critical  Prevention of environmental contamination  Sealing moisture, dirt, salt, dust, etc. • Survivability  Large temperature range (from -40 °C to 60 °C), vibration conditions, rotation, high speed • Seal life  Meet field maintenance requirements KEY SEAL PERFORMANCE CONSIDERATIONS 9 B A L S E A L . C O M
  • 10. • Jacket material choice  Polymers, such as filled PTFE, with low friction coefficient • Energizer choice  Controllable force for optimal balance of sealing effectiveness • Profile/geometry  Minimal contact without compromising sealing performance • Size/diameter  Low cross-section to diameter ratio • Additional factors  Media type (dry, abrasive, lubricating)  Seal usage after thermal cycling  Pressure and speed KEY SEAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS B A L S E A L . C O M 10 Seal in naval-based IRST
  • 11. • Using a canted coil spring energizer can:  Promote seal lip contact & consistency in operation  Compensate for tolerance variations, misalignment & vibration  Ensure effective sealing force is maintained under adverse conditions ▸Weather, speed, elevation, extreme temperatures • Controlled force of spring coils helps balance friction & sealing performance THE ENERGIZER: A CLOSER LOOK 11 B A L S E A L . C O M
  • 12. CASE STUDY: AIRBORNE LASER-OPTICAL SYSTEM Features Requirements Pressurized Yes Inner diameter 125 mm Speed 30 to 40 RPM Service type Rotary, oscillating Media Nitrogen + air, particles Temp range -90 to +90 °C Seal pressure 0 to 1.4 Bars Back pressure 0 to 1.4 Bars Ingress protection IP67 Frictional torque 0.9 Nm B A L S E A L . C O M 12
  • 13. SOLUTION: AIRBORNE LASER-OPTICAL SYSTEM SEAL  Provided in-depth frictional torque analysis  Met low-friction rate in specification  Protected optics to specification Dynamic lip geometry to minimize friction Canted coil spring applying consistent light force to minimize friction Locking ring to easily press into hardware Engineered polymer material Thin, flexible hinge point B A L S E A L . C O M 13
  • 14. • To achieve optimal accuracy and durability while meeting SWaP, IPX, and other requirements, look for these seal characteristics: SEALING SUCCESS FACTORS 14 B A L S E A L . C O M
  • 15. • To eliminate costly mistakes and delays, consider sealing requirements as part of overall system design • In early design stages, collaborate with Bal Seal Engineering to:  Custom design a seal that meets all your system/application requirements  Produce high-quality seal prototypes  Perform seal testing to verify performance ▸ Friction testing ▸ Dynamic leak vs. friction testing ▸ Pressure ▸ Spray-down  Transition successful prototype to full production - 100 to 1M+ units SUMMARY & RECOMMENDATIONS B A L S E A L . C O M 15
  • 16. RESOURCES & CONTACT INFORMATION 16 B A L S E A L . C O M solutions@balseal.com www.balseal.com +1 949.460.2100 Design request form May 23 © Copyright, Bal Seal Engineering, LLC. This document contains and/or refers to information that is PROPRIETARY to Bal Seal Engineering, LLC, and may not be reproduced, copied, published, or distributed in any form or disclosed to a third party, in whole or in part, without the written authorization of an officer of Bal Seal Engineering, LLC. Products are the subject of issued or pending United States and foreign patents. Products of Bal Seal Engineering, LLC and this document are PROPRIETARY and products may not be manufactured, or caused to be manufactured, by any other party. Americas Bal Seal Engineering 19650 Pauling, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610-2610 Telephone +1 949 460 2100 or Toll Free +1 800 366 1006 Fax +1 949 460 2300 Europe, Middle East, Africa Bal Seal Engineering Europe BV VIDA Building, 1st Floor Kabelweg 57 1014 BA Amsterdam, The Netherlands Phone: +31 20 638 6523 FAX: +31 20 625 6018 Asia Pacific Bal Seal Engineering Suite 701, Chinachem Century Tower 178 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Telephone +852 28681860 Fax +852 22956753