A bulk-flow model for calculation of the dynamic force characteristics in a single cavity, multiple-pocket gas damper seal is presented. Flow turbulence is accounted for by using turbulent shear stress parameters and Moody’s friction factors in the circumferential momentum equation. Zeroth order-equations describe the isothermal flow field for a centered seal, and first-order equations govern the perturbed flow for small amplitude rotor lateral motions. Comparisons to limited measurements from a four-pocket gas damper seal show the current model to predict well the mass flow rate and the direct damping coefficient. For a reference two-bladed teeth-on-stator labyrinth seal, the current model predicts similar rotordynamic coefficients when compared to results from a two control-volume bulk-flow model. Force coefficients from a reference single-cavity, four pocket gas damper depend on the rotor speed and pressure drop with magnitudes decreasing as the rotor whirl frequency increases. The multiple-pocket gas damper seal provides substantially more damping than a conventional labyrinth seal of the same dimensions. The damper seal cross-coupled stiffness coefficients are small though sensitive to the inlet circumferential pre-swirl flow.

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