Seal-Rotordynamic-Coefficient Test Results for a Model SSME ATD-HPFTP Turbine Interstage Seal With and Without a Swirl Brake

[+] Author and Article Information
D. W. Childs, C. Ramsey

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

J. Tribol 113(1), 198-203 (Jan 01, 1991) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2920587 History: Received February 26, 1990; Revised June 05, 1990; Online June 05, 2008


Test results are presented and compared to theory for a model Space Shuttle Main Engine(SSME) Alternate Turbopump Development(ATD) High-Pressure Fuel Turbopump (HPFTP) with and without swirl brakes. Tests are conducted with supply pressures out to 18.3 bars and speeds out to 16,000 rpm. Seal back pressure is controlled to provide four pressure ratios at all supply pressures. Three inlet guide vanes are used to provide the following three fluid prerotation cases: (a) no pre-rotation, (b) moderate prerotation in the direction of rotation, and (c) high prerotation in the direction of rotation. Test results demonstrate the pronounced favorable influence of the swirl brake in reducing the seal destabilizing forces. Without the swirl brake, the cross-coupled stiffness k increases monotonically with increasing inlet tangential velocity. With the swirl brake, k tends to either be constant or decrease with increasing inlet tangential velocity. Direct damping either increases or remains relatively constant when the swirl brake is introduced. Direct stiffness is relatively unchanged. No measurable differences in leakage were detected for the seal with and without the swirl brake. Comparisons between Scharrer’s (1988) theory and measurements for the seal without a swirl brake indicate that the predictions can be used to provide design guidelines only. Specific predictions for rotordynamic coefficients should be treated cautiously, since systematic differences were observed between theory and experiment due to changes in running speed, supply pressure, and pressure ratio.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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