Clearance Effects on Corresponding Annular and Labyrinth Seal Flow Leakage Characteristics

[+] Author and Article Information
D. L. Rhode, R. I. Hibbs

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

J. Tribol 115(4), 699-704 (Oct 01, 1993) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2921696 History: Received December 11, 1991; Revised November 01, 1992; Online June 05, 2008


A previous Navier-Stokes finite difference computer code is extended in order to compute seal leakage directly from given upstream and downstream reservoir pressures. The numerical results are in excellent agreement with previous measurements, the discrepancy being less than eight percent. Annular seals are found to leak approximately twenty percent more than corresponding labyrinths over the entire range of realistic clearance. A rather unexpected finding is that a dramatic increase of swirl velocity occurs near the discharge of small-clearance annular seals, which does not arise in corresponding labyrinth seals. The results, which are used to explain this finding, show that a large density drop occurs near the small-clearance annular seal exit, which provides the swirl velocity increase in accordance with angular momentum conservation.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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