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Effects of Pressure Ratio and Fin Pitch on Leakage Flow Characteristics in High Rotating Labyrinth Seals

[+] Author Affiliations
Jun Li, Xin Yan, Zhenping Feng

Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, P. R. China

Paper No. GT2006-91145, pp. 1591-1598; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/GT2006-91145
From:
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 3: Heat Transfer, Parts A and B
  • Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4238-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3774-2
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME

abstract

Labyrinth seals represent an important flow element in the sealing equipment of modern turbomachinery industries. The straight-through and stepped labyrinth seal are widely used in modern steam turbine due to their comparable simple structure and low manufactured costs. The influence of pressure ratio and fin pitch on the leakage flow characteristics of the straight-through and stepped labyrinth seals is numerically determined. The pressure ratio is defined as the outlet static pressure divided by the inlet total pressure. The fin pitch varied in the fixed axial distance of the labyrinth seal. The geometries investigated represent designs of the straight-through and stepped labyrinth seal typical for modern steam turbines. The leakage flow fields in the high rotating straight-through and stepped labyrinth seals are obtained by the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes solution using the commercial software FLUENT with the fixed seal clearance and fins geometrical structure. The effect of the rotational axis is also taken into account in numerical computations. Numerical simulations covered a range of pressure ratio and fin pitch for the straight-through and stepped labyrinth seals. Dimensionless discharge coefficients, describing the sealing performance, are calculated from the simulation results. The numerical results show that pressure ratio and fin pitch both affects the sealing performance with the fixed seal clearance and fin geometrical structure. The leakage flow rate decreases with the decreasing fin pitch for both the straight-through and stepped labyrinth seal at the fixed pressure ratio. Furthermore, the leakage flow rate decreases with the increasing pressure ratio at the fixed fin pitch for two kinds of labyrinth seals in the present study. This research provides technical support for improved design of labyrinth seals in turbomachinery.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME

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