Thermal Effects in Cryogenic Liquid Annular Seals—Part I: Theory and Approximate Solution

[+] Author and Article Information
Zhou Yang, Luis San Andres, Dara W. Childs

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

J. Tribol 115(2), 267-276 (Apr 01, 1993) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2921001 History: Received August 02, 1991; Revised March 25, 1992; Online June 05, 2008


A thermohydrodynamic (THD) analysis is introduced for calculation of the performance characteristics of cryogenic liquid annular seals in the turbulent flow regime. A full-inertial bulk-flow model is advanced for momentum conservation and energy transport. The liquid material properties depend on the local absolute pressure and temperature. Heat flow to the rotor and stator is modeled by bulk-flow heat transfer coefficients. An approximate analytical solution is obtained to the governing equations when the seal operates at a steady-state and concentric condition. The temperature-rise in the fluid film of a cryogenic liquid seal is found to be composed of four sources due to viscous dissipation, pressure extrusion work, surface heat transfer and kinetic energy variation. For incompressible adiabatic flows, the fluid temperature rises linearly along the axial direction. The approximate analytical solution provides a useful tool for preliminary design and a better understanding of seal performance. Full numerical predictions of load, leakage, temperature, and rotordynamic coefficients for a high speed liquid oxygen seal are given in Part II to show the importance of thermal effects on seal performance. The accuracy of the approximate concentric seal analysis is then demonstrated by comparison to the results from the full numerical solution.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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