Helical Technology Ltd

Contact Stress Analysis of a Mechanical Valve Rotator

Contact Stress Analysis

Helical Technology Ltd design mechanical valve rotators for use in engines to reduce wear, and to improve operating temperature distribution. As part of the design process, Wilde was asked to assess the performance of a rotator assembly.


The FE analysis was performed to predict detailed stresses and deflections of the assembly components, including the ball, ball ring and disc spring. The analysis involved resolving contact issues and providing a realistic load distribution under given loads.

Fig. 1: Mechanical Rotator Components and Assembly (Courtesy: Helical Technology)

The Modelling Process

The simulations, including geometry editing and meshing, were conducted using ANSYS. Exploiting cyclic symmetry conditions, a segment of the whole assembly was modelled to minimise the computational time. Constraint equations were specified to allow for the effect of the symmetry planes and assembly fixtures. The results were used to assess the assembly performance under defined loading conditions.

Fig. 2: FEA Results from the Contact Analysis (Courtesy: Helical Technology)

The particular assembly that was evaluated is fitted into what we would consider to be a severe application. The study based on the FE analysis results demonstrated that there were no areas that are significantly highly stressed which in turn gives confidence with similar designs fitted to less demanding applications. The study that Wilde FEA performed for us gives us confidence to look for similar type of assistance in the future.

Rotator Design/Application Manager, Helical Technology

About Helical Technology Ltd

Helical Technology has been established for over 50 years and has a global presence with production facilities in the UK, India and China. With a background in the design and manufacture of springs, valve rotators and actuators, Helical is now a world leader in the design and manufacture of acoustic and EGR exhaust valves, and it has its own in-house Technical Centre.



Ansys Mechanical is a finite element analysis (FEA) software used to perform structural analysis using advanced solver options, including linear dynamics, nonlinearities, thermal analysis, materials, composites, hydrodynamic, explicit, and more.

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