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Hole-Pattern and Honeycomb Seal Rotordynamic Forces: Validation of CFD-Based Prediction Techniques

[+] Author Affiliations
Kenny Krogh Nielsen, Kasper Jønck

Lloyd’s Register ODS, Copenhagen, Denmark

Harald Underbakke

Statoil, Stavanger, Norway

Paper No. GT2012-69878, pp. 1017-1029; 13 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 7: Structures and Dynamics, Parts A and B
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, June 11–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4473-1
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper deals with modeling of hole-pattern and honeycomb seals. These are frequently used as balance piston seals in high pressure centrifugal compressor applications as they have the potential to facilitate superior rotordynamic damping characteristics while providing good leakage control. On the other hand it is also well-established that the rotordynamic performance of hole-pattern and honeycomb seals is very sensitive to convergence and divergence in the streamwise direction.

The ISOTSEAL bulk-flow code has shown difficulties in predicting the rotordynamic coefficients for convergent seal geometries or in cases with negative preswirl. This has lead to increased interest in CFD-based analysis of seal dynamics. CFD-based models generally have less assumptions and are applicable for complex geometries or operating ranges not covered by bulk-flow codes.

The CFD-based Instationary Perturbation Model (IPM) is utilized for the analysis of the hole-pattern and honeycomb seals. The rotordynamic forces are obtained by means of a time-dependent perturbation of the rotor position with respect to the stator. A sequence of perturbation frequencies is utilized to obtain the frequency dependence of the rotordynamic seal force coefficients.

A strong effort has been put into validating the CFD-based perturbation modeling techniques against published experimental seal test data and the paper describes selected validation cases. A constant-clearance hole-pattern seal and a convergent honeycomb seal are analyzed and the results are compared to experimental results. The frequency dependence of the rotordynamic stiffness and damping characteristics of the seals is very well-captured for both types of seals.

Finally the IPM method was applied to a convergent hole-pattern seal to investigate the effects of eccentricity on the rotordynamic coefficients. The results are consistent with available experimental data.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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