Convergent-Tapered Annular Seals: Analysis and Testing for Rotordynamic Coefficients

[+] Author and Article Information
D. W. Childs

Mechanical Engineering Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843

J. B. Dressman

Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky. 40229

J. Tribol 107(3), 307-316 (Jul 01, 1985) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3261059 History: Received December 15, 1982; Online October 29, 2009


A combined analytical-computational method is developed to calculate the pressure field and dynamic coefficients for tapered high-pressure annular seals typical of neck-ring and interstage seals employed in multistage centrifugal pumps. Completely developed turbulent flow is assumed in both the circumferential and axial directions and is modeled by Hirs’ bulk-flow turbulent-lubrication equations. Linear zeroth- and first-order perturbation equations are developed for the momentum equations and continuity equations. The development of the circumferential velocity field is defined from the zeroth-order circumferential-momentum equation, and a leakage relationship is defined from the zeroth-order axial-momentum equation. A short-bearing approximation is used to derive an analytical expression for the first-order (dynamic) pressure gradient. This expression is integrated numerically to define dynamic coefficients for the seal. Numerical results are presented and compared to previous results for straight and tapered seals. The direct stiffness and leakage increase with increasing taper angle, while the remaining dynamic coefficients decrease. An optimal taper angle is shown to exist with respect to (a) the direct stiffness, and (b) the ratio of direct stiffness to leakage. Stiffness increases on the order of 40-50 percent are predicted. Experimental results are presented for seals with three taper angles which show generally good agreement between theory and prediction.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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