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Time-Resolved Numerical Study of Axial Gap Effects on Labyrinth-Seal Leakage and Secondary Flow in a LP Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
Marc H.-O. Biester, Florian Wiegmann, Joerg R. Seume

Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany

Yavuz Guendogdu

MTU Aero Engines GmbH, München, Germany

Paper No. GT2013-95628, pp. V06AT36A034; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 6A: Turbomachinery
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5522-5
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


One of the most promising ways to improve the efficiency of modern turbomachinery is the reduction of secondary flow-structures and associated losses. A widely spread approach is the usage of shrouded airfoils in combination with labyrinth-seals. The disadvantage of this arrangement is a small but inevitable labyrinth-leakage flow that tends to increase the secondary-flow structures. The present work investigates how the axial gap of the blade rows and the corresponding shift of the labyrinth’s inlet and outlet influences leakage related effects on the flow-field and loss-generation. In order to capture the inter-blade and leakage interaction properly, time-resolved RANS computations of a 1 1/2 stage low pressure turbine have been performed. Besides accounting for labyrinth seals, fillets have been modeled. The axial gap is varied from 20% to 80% axial chord length. Clocking-effects induced by the axial gap variation are compensated.

The leakage flow nearly retains the flow direction of the flow entering the blade row. In case of the largest axial gap, mixing causes the flow-angle of the leakage to tend towards that of the main-flow, thus reducing the incidence on the downstream blade row. Therefore, the turning of the low-momentum flow is increased compared to a small axial gap. This leads to a higher loading in the affected region and an increased passage vortex can be observed. By comparing the entropy generation of computations with and without labyrinth seals, the regions where leakage-related losses occur are identified and the relevant mechanisms are distinguished.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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