Rubber seal

Innovation by collaboration:

People Creating Value is a design consultancy for integral product development offering a very extensive range of competences.

The people at People Creating Value are experienced specialists from various disciplines in integral product development, who create added value by generating and implementing new ideas. Integral product development embraces all the activities needed to get from a simple product idea – via a product portfolio – to fully-fledged products.

People Creating Value combines the competences of professionals and consultants, and Physixfactor is a part of this group.

In this collaboration Physixfactor has supported many projects. Also the project which is described below.

Rubber seal sliding analysis

An annular construction is used in an automatic coffee machine covered with a silicon ring. For maintenance reasons the silicon ring is taken out of the machine for cleaning. Dismantling the annular structure could only be done by the maintenance technician by using large forces with the chance of spoiling liquids or damaging delicate parts.. Ideally the forces should be between 10 to 14 N.

FEM simulation of forces in seal

The existing model was tested in the FEM software with a non-linear simulation of a hyper-elastic material to reveal the forces needed to dismantle the construction. The forces matched the laboratory tests of the existing model. Based on the experience of the non-linear model a new design was proposed, and the final forces to dismantle the construction were around 11 N. A real prototype was built and tested in the lab.


The new geometry showed a gradual force build up, and in the lab the maximum forces were between 11 and 14 N. Then the decision was made to launch this new product for a worldwide market, and this development project generated more customer satisfaction. The time to market was short, and the customer of People Creating Value was satisfied with the end result of the simulation.
Presentation of this project at the COMSOL conference 2013: