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Patexia Research
Patent No. US 11359726
Issue Date Jun 14, 2022
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Patent 11359726 - Non-contact seal assembly with multiple axially spaced spring elements > Claims

  • 1. An assembly for rotational equipment, comprising: a plurality of seal shoes arranged about a centerline in an annular array, the plurality of seal shoes comprising a first seal shoe;a seal base circumscribing the plurality of seal shoes; anda spring system connecting the plurality of seal shoes to the seal base, the spring system including a first spring element and a second spring element;the first spring element extending axially along the centerline in a first axial direction from the seal base to the first seal shoe; andthe second spring element extending axially along the centerline in a second axial direction from the seal base to the first seal shoe, the second axial direction opposite the first axial direction.
    • 2. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal base includes a first flange that radially overlaps the first seal shoe; andthe first spring element extends axially from the first flange to the first seal shoe.
      • 3. The assembly of claim 2, wherein the seal base further includes a second flange that radially overlaps the first seal shoe; andthe second spring element extends axially from the second flange to the first seal shoe.
    • 4. The assembly of claim 1, wherein a first radius extends from the centerline to the first spring element;a second radius extends from the centerline to the second spring element; andthe first radius is equal to the second radius.
    • 5. The assembly of claim 1, wherein a first radius extends from the centerline to the first spring element;a second radius extends from the centerline to the second spring element; andthe first radius is different than the second radius.
    • 6. The assembly of claim 1, further comprising a compression spring between and engaged with the seal base and the first spring element.
    • 7. The assembly of claim 1, further comprising a compression spring between and engaged with the seal base and the first seal shoe.
    • 8. The assembly of claim 1, further comprising a damper between and connected to the seal base and the first seal shoe.
    • 9. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal base includes a seal shoe stop configured to limit radial outward movement of the first seal shoe.
      • 10. The assembly of claim 9, wherein a vent aperture extends through the seal shoe stop.
    • 11. The assembly of claim 1, wherein a vent aperture extends through the first spring element or the first seal shoe.
    • 12. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first seal shoe projects axially beyond the seal base.
    • 13. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first spring element extends axially along the centerline in the first axial direction from the seal base to the first seal shoe for a first axial distance;the second spring element extends axially along the centerline in the second axial direction from the seal base to the first seal shoe for a second axial distance; andthe second axial distance is different than the first axial distance.
    • 14. The assembly of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first spring element has a straight, linear sectional geometry as the first spring element extends from the seal base to the first seal shoe; orthe second spring element has a straight, linear sectional geometry as the second spring element extends from the seal base to the first seal shoe.
    • 15. The assembly of claim 1, wherein at least one of at least a portion of the first spring element has a tortuous sectional geometry as the first spring element extends away from the seal base towards the first seal shoe; orat least a portion of the second spring element has a tortuous sectional geometry as the second spring element extends away from the seal base towards the first seal shoe.
    • 16. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the spring system further includes one or more additional spring elements connected to and extending between the seal base and the first seal shoe.
    • 17. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first seal shoe has a first seal shoe lateral width, and at least one of the first spring element has a first spring element lateral width that is equal to the first seal shoe lateral width; orthe second spring element has a second spring element lateral width that is equal to the first seal shoe lateral width.
    • 18. The assembly of claim 1, further comprising: a stationary structure;a rotating structure configured to rotate about the centerline; anda seal assembly including the plurality of seal shoes, the seal base and the spring system, the seal assembly configured to seal a gap between the stationary structure and the rotating structure;wherein the plurality of seal shoes are arranged circumferentially about and sealingly engage the rotating structure; andwherein the seal base is mounted to the stationary structure.
  • 19. An assembly for rotational equipment, comprising: a plurality of seal shoes arranged about a centerline in an annular array, the plurality of seal shoes comprising a first seal shoe;a seal base extending circumferentially around the plurality of seal shoes and the centerline; anda spring system connecting the plurality of seal shoes to the seal base, the spring system including a first spring element and a second spring element;the first spring element axially between and connected to the seal base and the first seal shoe;the second spring element axially between and connected to the seal base and the first seal shoe; andthe first seal shoe axially between the first spring element and the second spring element.
  • 20. An assembly for rotational equipment, comprising: a plurality of seal shoes arranged about a centerline in an annular array, the plurality of seal shoes comprising a first seal shoe and a second seal shoe;a seal base extending circumferentially around the plurality of seal shoes and the centerline; anda spring system connecting the plurality of seal shoes to the seal base, the spring system including a first spring element, a second spring element, a third spring element and a fourth spring element;the first spring element arranged towards a first axial side of the first seal shoe, and the first spring element connected to and between the first seal shoe and the seal base;the second spring element arranged towards a second axial side of the first seal shoe, and the second spring element connected to and between the first seal shoe and the seal base;the third spring element arranged towards a first axial side of the second seal shoe, and the third spring element connected to and between the second seal shoe and the seal base;the fourth spring element arranged towards a second axial side of the second seal shoe, and the fourth spring element connected to and between the second seal shoe and the seal base;the first seal shoe and the second seal shoe laterally separated by a first lateral distance; andthe first spring element and the third spring element laterally separated by a second lateral distance that is equal to the first lateral distance.
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