FEA Technology Shortens Seal Development Time, Saves Money

Developing the most effective sealing solution for a new product can be a highly manual, time-consuming process, with a prototype die shot cast, the model tested and refined, and the process repeated—usually several times.

But with each round of die shots typically costing tens of thousands of dollars and adding weeks or months to the product development cycle, many manufacturers could instantly benefit from a faster, more effective methodology— Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

FEA is a powerful software tool that Cooper Standard ISG experts use to help optimize seal designs. Design projects with partners across a number of industries suggest that FEA could reduce optimum development cycles and testing, significantly slashing development time and costs, and allowing faster speed to market with potentially more effective, more robustly performing products.

And, of course, the same FEA process can also be brought to bear on existing seals, helping to identify performance issues and determining reasons for leaks, buckling, and other displeasing failure modes, and suggesting changes to materials and/or design that could alleviate them.

State-of-the-art FEA software, expertly applied to sealing components by the engineers at Cooper Standard ISG, can accurately predict and troubleshoot failure modes and performance issues of all kinds. Engineers can study component performance with a high degree of accuracy, and fine-tune by changing the design or material parameters for your customer's application. 

For example, in a recent Cooper Standard FEA case study, our engineers used FEA technology after a customer requested a seal with longevity and ease of installment. See more about the three key benefits this FEA case study provided. 


Failure modes and properties often studied virtually, without the need to cast physical seal prototypes, include:

  • Model and optimize compression load deflection in simulated operation
  • Model and optimize insertion force for fast, ergonomic installation
  • Model and alleviate seal kinking/buckling/puckering in use
  • Model and optimize extraction force experienced by installed seals for maximum retention and resistance to pull-off
  • Model and optimize seal durability with thousands of simulated open/close cycles
  • Model and optimize performance vs. temperature extremes and fluctuations
  • Model and optimize screw torque for maximum retention and ergonomic installation
  • And more

Proprietary Crimp-On Flange Process For Faster, Ergonomic Assembly

FEA is also the driver for a Cooper Standard innovation that is revolutionizing seal installation in many facilities. Crimp on Flange (COF) technology often doubles the pull-off force of current seals, as well as delivers revolutionary improvements in the speed and ergonomics of assembly, reducing vibration and percussive force experienced by the operator.

Using FEA, the optimum seal profile and installation parameters are identified, and a unique, hand-held application tool is custom designed specifically for the application.

Any Industry/Any Application Can Benefit

Nearly any seal in any application in any industry can be analyzed and improved through an expert Cooper Standard ISG FEA study, including products in industries such as:

Bringing The Power Of FEA To Industrial Seals

Finite Element Analysis as a methodology is not new to the manufacturing sector overall, but Cooper Standard ISG is leading the way in adapting the technology and bringing it to bear specifically on the unique aspects of industrial sealing solutions. We have developed a host of proprietary techniques that have made FEA methodology extraordinarily effective for performing in-depth analysis of sealing solutions in our customers’ applications, and utilize an ever-growing in-house database of FEA analysis and failure mode modeling information that makes every subsequent study ever more effective for our customers.

Cooper Standard ISG also maintains extensive A2LA accredited lab testing facilities in-house, so once FEA techniques have gotten the part close to perfection within a purely virtual environment, the process of building a prototype to prove out the last steps through physical testing can be handed off smoothly and expertly. These testing capabilities include:

  • Accelerometer Testing
  • Vibration Testing
  • Hot & Cold Chambers
  • Shaker Tables
  • And More

To find out more about how Cooper Standard ISG’s expert Finite Element Analysis services can help you identify common seal failure modes and optimize properties in a new seal—or troubleshoot performance in an existing seal—while minimizing the need to build costly die shots and undergo numerous physical trials, contact us today. Cooper Standard ISG is your sealing solutions partner, and looks forward to putting Finite Element Analysis to work for you to help you save time and money and get to market faster on your next product development effort.