Research Papers

Prediction of Ingestion Through Turbine Rim Seals—Part I: Rotationally Induced Ingress

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Michael Owen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK

J. Turbomach 133(3), 031005 (Nov 12, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001177 History: Received July 23, 2009; Revised August 07, 2009; Published November 12, 2010; Online November 12, 2010

The mainstream flow past the stationary nozzle guide vanes and rotating turbine blades in a gas turbine creates an unsteady nonaxisymmetric variation in pressure in the annulus, radially outward of the rim seal. The ingress and egress occur through those parts of the seal clearance where the external pressure is higher and lower, respectively, than that in the wheel-space; this nonaxisymmetric type of ingestion is referred to here as externally induced (EI) ingress. Another cause of ingress is that the rotating air inside the wheel-space creates a radial gradient of pressure so that the pressure inside the wheel-space can be less than that outside; this creates rotationally induced (RI) ingress, which—unlike EI ingress—can occur, even if the flow in the annulus is axisymmetric. Although the EI ingress is usually dominant in a turbine, there are conditions under which both EI and RI ingress are significant, these cases are referred to as combined ingress. In Part I of this two-part paper, the so-called orifice equations are derived for compressible and incompressible swirling flows, and the incompressible equations are solved analytically for the RI ingress. The resulting algebraic expressions show how the nondimensional ingress and egress vary with Θ0, which is the ratio of the flow rate of sealing air to the flow rate necessary to prevent ingress. It is shown that ε, the sealing effectiveness, depends principally on Θ0, and the predicted values of ε are in mainly in good agreement with the available experimental data.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Typical high-pressure turbine stage showing rim seal and wheel-space

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Figure 2

Simplified diagram of ingress and egress through an axial-clearance rim seal

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Figure 6

Effect of external swirl on variation in εwithηt: comparison between basic theory for RI ingress and measurements of Graber (9) for axial-clearance seal: Gc=4.76×10−3, Reϕ=5.1×106

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Figure 7

Effect of Gc on variation in ε with ηt: comparison between basic theory for RI ingress and measurements of Graber (9) for radial-clearance seals: Reϕ=2.6×106

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Figure 8

Effect Reϕ on variation in ε with ηt: comparison between basic theory for RI ingress and measurements of Graber (9) for radial-clearance seal: Gc=4.76×10−3. Reϕ=2.6×106: solid symbols are measurements; continuous curve is the basic theory. Reϕ=5.2×106: open symbols are measurements; dashed curve is the basic theory.

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Figure 9

Simplified diagram of rotationally induced ingress and egress in rim seal clearance

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Figure 4

Variation of Cw,e, Cw,i, and ε with Cw,0 for RI ingress when Cd,e=Cd,i and external swirl is zero

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Figure 5

Effect of Cd,i/Cd,e on variation of ε with Cw,o/Cw,min for RI ingress when external swirl is zero




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