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Requisition ID:  12763
Category:  Students & Internships
Career level:  Student
Contract type:  Internship/student

As part of SKF Seals - Product and Technology Development, the Global Research and Innovation department develops and provides advanced knowledge and technologies to support the digital transformation and continuous innovation within SKF seals product lines worldwide.


SKF Engineering Software Development is responsible for the development of a wide spectrum of key engineering simulation software within SKF, based on a solid architecture and infrastructure combined with thorough testing. In a combined  research project, these two departments are looking for a : 



Master student


to conduct his/her thesis in SKF’s R&D  facility in Houten, The Netherlands.


Seal followability is the ability of the sealing lip to remain in contact with the rotating shaft despite vibrations or dynamic run-out caused by assembly misalignments. In SKF, seal followability simulations can already be performed in a (3D) advanced seal calculation platform called “SAMBA” and developed by the GR&I department. However, despite the numerous comprehensive insights provided on the seal performance, this 3D predictive approach typically results in large computational times, not to mention the high level of expertise required for pre-processing and post-processing of seal models. Consequently, “Seal Designer”, an engineering software developed by the ESD department and based on a simplified 2D axisymmetric FEM hypothesis, still remains the most-widely used option for seal simulations within SKF. This is mainly due to its reduced computational time and ease of use. Therefore, to complement Seal Designer with advanced followability prediction capabilities, a simplified model based on the more advanced SAMBA platform has been derived to be integrated into Seal Designer. This semi-analytical model is capable of calculating seal followability in a matter of milliseconds, thereby equipping Seal Designer users with rapid optimization capabilities with respect to seal followability performance.


The semi-analytical model has been successfully validated against both experimental results and (3D) SAMBA analyses. As input to this simplified model, relative hoop, i.e. along the seal circumferential direction, and bending, i.e. throughout the seal cantilever cross section, contributions of the 3D stress tensor are needed. These  are typically derived from the corresponding hoop vs. bending force distribution obtained from a preliminary analysis performed in Seal Designer. However, the inherent 2D axisymmetric assumption within Seal Designer restrains the application of this alternative analytical model to only a certain class of seals where the hoop contribution to the stress tensor caused from the applied misalignment can in fact be assumed to not only be constant along the circumferential direction but also significantly negligible compared to the generated additional bending stresses acting on the seal cross-sectional area. Consequently, the followability of particular seals such as “goose-neck” designs ,for which the force due to the sealing lip interference is generated at a different location in the seal than the force caused by misalignment, cannot be accurately predicted.


Therefore, a more elaborated approach to the Seal Designer 2D FEM solver is required as  alternative to the axisymmetric method. This approach should allow for a better decoupling of the hoop vs. bending relative contributions to the full 3D stress tensor so that the followability of all seal classes can be accurately and rapidly predicted with the SKF semi-analytical model available in Seal Designer.

Extend capabilities of SKF semi-analytical followability model by researching, implementing and validating a new 2D FEM approach in Seal Designer allowing for a better decoupling of the hoop vs. bending relative contributions to the full 3D stress tensor as compared to the currently-used 2D axisymmetric FEM solver. 

•    2D alternative FEM method, e.g. plain strain, to the axisymmetric approach implemented and available in Seal Designer 
•    Compare analytical followability model using 2D alternative FEM method to 3D dynamic SAMBA analysis, e.g. for 'goose neck' seals 
•    Automatic conversion and calculation of models using the 2D alternative method from original 2D axisymmetric models. (extra boundary conditions might be needed to avoid rotation).
•    Implement analytical model in Seal Designer prototype (depending on timing and availability of viscoelastic data and models). 


•    Background in physics, mechanical engineering, material sciences or comparable
•    Knowledge of the finite elements method
•    Affinity with software development, in particular object oriented, C++ 
•    Working knowledge of Matlab, Python is an advantage
•    Working knowledge of Linux is an advantage
•    Enthusiastic attitude
•    Team player
•    Good communication skills and fluent in English


What we offer
•    We offer you the opportunity to work in an innovative and well-equipped R&D environment, which is part of a large, successful company with an excellent reputation. The facilities are in fully renovated and partly newly built location in Houten, The Netherlands. 
•    You will work with the help of both an agile software development team and the seals research and Innovation department experts within SKF
•    Working desk with Linux and when needed windows laptop. 
•    Trainee allowance will be  50% of Dutch minimum wage (corrected for age). Reimbursement of (travel expenses). 27 days off on a yearly basis. 


If you are interested and meet the above requirements, please apply with your CV and motivation letter.

About SKF

SKF’s mission is to be the undisputed leader in the bearing business. SKF offers solutions around the rotating shaft, including bearings, seals, lubrication management, condition monitoring and maintenance services. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in SEK is around 75 billion and the number of employees ca 41,000.