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An Experimental and Numerical Study of Labyrinth Seal Flow

[+] Author Affiliations
A. D. Vakili, A. J. Meganathan, M. Michaud, S. Radhakrishnan

University of Tennessee Space Institute, Tullahoma, TN

Paper No. GT2005-68224, pp. 1121-1128; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2005: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 3: Turbo Expo 2005, Parts A and B
  • Reno, Nevada, USA, June 6–9, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4726-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3754-8
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Leakage flow in 2-D constant rotor diameter stepped labyrinth seals is investigated by means of pressure and velocity field measurements and numerical simulation of 2-D and axisymmetric models. The basis of investigation is a generic stepped labyrinth seal currently used in industry in steam turbine generators. The performance of the baseline seal design was compared with new seal designs with specific features changed in order to examine their influence on leakage characteristics through such seals. Numerical modeling and experiments were performed over a range of seal pressure ratios from 1 to 10. A number of configurations were evaluated both experimentally and numerically. This paper discusses flow details associated with only one configuration as compared with the baseline. Results have been helpful in the understanding of seal flow leakage and total pressure loss mechanisms. Mechanisms of leakage reduction in labyrinth seals included turbulence induced viscous losses, chamber vortex generation, flow stagnation losses, and increased flow streamline curvature. Numerical results provided insight into the flow field details and were helpful in facilitating basic physical understandings used for improved seal designs.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Flow (Dynamics)



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