Numerical and Experimental Analyses of Static Characteristics for Liquid Annular Seals with Helical Grooves in Seal Stator

[+] Author and Article Information
Keisuke Nagai

Graduate School of Nagaoka University of Technology, Department of Energy and Environment Science, Kamitomioka-machi 1603-1, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, 940-2188 Japan

Satoru Kaneko

Nagaoka University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Japan, Kamitomioka-machi 1603-1, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, 940-2188 Japan

Hiroo Taura

Nagaoka University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Japan, Kamitomioka-machi 1603-1, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, 940-2188 Japan

Yusuke Watanabe

EBARA Corporation, Japan, Honfujisawa 4-2-1, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa, 251-8502 Japan

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037846 History: Received March 21, 2017; Revised August 21, 2017


Numerical and experimental analyses were carried out to investigate the static characteristics of liquid annular seals with helical grooves in a seal stator. In the numerical analysis, the continuity equation and momentum equations with turbulent coefficients were averaged across the film thickness and numerically solved. To accurately define the location of the step between the groove and the land regions in the calculation domain, these governing equations were expressed using an oblique coordinate system in which the directions of coordinate axes coincided with the circumferential direction and the direction along the helical grooves. The numerical analysis includes the effect of both inertia and energy losses due to expansion during the passage of fluid from the land region to the helical groove region and due to contraction from the groove to the land region. In the experimental analysis, the helically grooved seals with different helix angles of helical groove were used. The numerical results for the leakage flow rate and the static pressure distributions agreed well with the experimental results, which demonstrated the validity of the numerical analysis. Under a low range of rotor spinning velocities, the leakage flow rate decreases with helix angle. On the other hand, under a high range of spinning velocities, the quantitative difference in the leakage flow rate due to the helix angle becomes small as compared with that under a lower range. The effects of the helix angle and rotor spinning velocity on the leakage flow rate were explained qualitatively using a simplified model.

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