What moves sealing technology?

Retrospective of the 20th ISC, International Sealing Conference Stuttgart 2018

Organized by the Fluid Power Association within the VDMA e.V. with its Fluid Power Sealing Working Group the 20th International Sealing Conference (ISC) took place on 10. and 11. Oktober 2018 in Stuttgart under the motto "Sealing Technology - Beyond Limitations". For the first time, the scientific director was Dr. Frank Bauer, the new head of the sealing technology division at the Institute for Machine Elements at the University of Stuttgart.

With more than 280 participants, of which 23% came from abroad, the ISC was not only able to hold the visitors level of the last events but also to increase the share of international pariticipands. Thus its position as the largest and most important conference for sealing technology worldwide was again maintained and confirmed.

48 lecturers succeeded in inspiring the audience with new findings on sealing technology. By a careful selection of the presentations, in which users, manufacturers and scientists were adressed to the same extent, a more intense dialogue between these three groups developed - a stated goal of the ISC. This dialogue was further deepened during the breaks between lectures as well as in the conference's exhibition and in the personal conversations between the participants. Very well received by the conference participants was the chance to have an insights into the current research activities at the Institute for Machine Elements (IMA) at the University of Stuttgart by exclusive lab tours and conversation in the exhibition and the conference itself.

The entire spectrum of sealing technology was covered in the lectures content. From pneumatic and hydraulic seals of all types, from shaft seals to static seals –new findings of the last 2 years were reported. Whether friction and wear, practical applications, new materials for advanced application limits or simulation - the topics were wide-ranging.

The focus of many lectures lay on the use of high-performance materials, surfaces and tribological properties of sealing systems. Of particular interest were contributions on the analysis and prediction of the behavior and performance of sealing systems as well as on innovative development and manufacturing processes (such as additive manufacturing). The current trends in sealing technology were thus well reflected in the presentations.

The evening event of the 20th ISC offered a welcome opportunity to intensify discussions. The reception at the Kunstmuseum was the prelude. With its cube-shaped glass building, this attracts visitors from afar. Inside, the museum surprises visitors at an unexpected depth: two former tunnels contain collections with different focuses. A highlight of the exhibition is certainly the large collection of works by Otto Dix, including various self-portraits, the painting "The Triumph of Death" or the famous "Metropolis Triptych".

After the museum visit, the conference participants walked to the Maritim Hotel. There a festive dinner was enjoyed in the "Alte Stuttgarter Reithalle" ("old riding hall"). In this atmospheric setting, Prof. Dr. Werner Haas, who was the scientific director of the conference from 2002 (12th ISC, first time in Stuttgart) to 2016 (19th ISC), was also ceremoniously retired.


A good overview of the lectures held show the content of the conference literature and the summaries of the lectures. File is available as download.

The conference documents with USB-stick (partly in German, partly in English) are available at the contact address christian.geis@vdma.org.

Be there when the sealing technology industry in Stuttgart meets again next International Sealing Conference.

Come to the 21st ISC from 07.-08. Oktober 2020.

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