Flow Visualization and Leakage Measurements of Stepped Labyrinth Seals: Part 2—Sloping Surfaces

[+] Author and Article Information
D. L. Rhode

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

J. S. Younger

Solar Turbines, Inc., 215 Center Park Blvd., DeSoto, TX 75115

M. D. Wernig

Schlumberger Anadrill, 200 Gillingham Lane, #125, Sugar Land, TX 77478

J. Turbomach 119(4), 844-848 (Oct 01, 1997) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2841196 History: Received February 01, 1996; Online January 29, 2008


An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the geometry–leakage relationship for advanced, stepped labyrinth seals. A unique, variable-geometry water test facility was constructed and used to acquire leakage resistance measurements for two-dimensional, planar models. Flow visualization techniques were also used to assist in identifying and understanding the turbulence generating flow patterns. It was found that contoured surfaces and restrictor tooth leading-edge shapes of proper dimensions can be incorporated into the cavity geometry to reduce seal leakage. Specifically, the combination of a sloping surface and a curved surface on the rotor within the labyrinth cavity gave significant improvement.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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