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Analysis of Compressible and Incompressible Flows Through See-through Labyrinth Seals

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Title: Analysis of Compressible and Incompressible Flows Through See-through Labyrinth Seals
Author: Woo, Jeng Won
Abstract: The labyrinth seal is a non-contact annular type sealing device used to reduce the internal leakage of the working fluid which is caused by the pressure difference between each stage in a turbomachine. Reducing the leakage mass flow rate of the working fluid through the labyrinth seal is desirable because it improves the efficiency of the turbomachine. The carry-over coefficient, based on the divergence angle of the jet, changed with flow parameters with fixed seal geometry while earlier models expressed the carry-over coefficient solely as a function of seal geometry. For both compressible and incompressible flows, the Reynolds number based on clearance was the only flow parameter which could influence the carry-over coefficient. In the case of incompressible flow based on the simulations for various seal geometries and operating conditions, for a given Reynolds number, the carry-over coefficient strongly depended on radial clearance to tooth width ratio. Moreover, in general, the lower the Reynolds number, the larger is the divergence angle of the jet and this results in a smaller carry-over coefficient at lower Reynolds numbers. However, during transition from laminar to turbulent, the carry-over coefficient reduced initially and once the Reynolds number attained a critical value, the carry-over coefficient increased again. In the case of compressible flow, the carry-over coefficient had been slightly increased if radial clearance to tooth width ratio and radial clearance to tooth pitch ratio were increased. Further, the carry-over coefficient did not considerably change if only radial clearance to tooth width ratio was decreased. The discharge coefficient for compressible and incompressible flows depended only on the Reynolds number based on clearance. The discharge coefficient of the tooth in a single cavity labyrinth seal was equivalent to that in a multiple tooth labyrinth seal indicating that flow downstream had negligible effect on the discharge coefficient. In particular, for compressible fluid under certain flow and seal geometric conditions, the discharge coefficient did not increase with an increase in the Reynolds number. It was correlated to the pressure ratio, Pr. Moreover, it was also related to the fact that the flow of the fluid through the constriction became compressible and the flow eventually became choked. At low pressure ratios (less than 0.7), Saikishan’s incompressible model deviated from CFD simulation results. Hence, the effects of compressibility became significant and both the carry-over coefficient compressibility factor and the discharge coefficient compressibility factor needed to be considered and included into the leakage model. The carry-over coefficient compressibility factor, phi, had two linear relationships with positive and negative slopes regarding the pressure ratios. This result was not associated with the seal geometry because the seal geometry ratios for each instance were located within the nearly same ranges. Further, the phi-Pr relationship was independent of the number of teeth regardless of single and multiple cavity labyrinth seals. The discharge coefficient compressibility factor, psi, was a linear relationship with pressure ratios across the tooth as Saikishan predicted. However, in certain flow and seal geometric conditions, Saikishan’s model needed to be modified for the deviation appearing when the pressure ratios were decreased. Hence, a modified psi-Pr relationship including Saikishan’s model was presented in order to compensate for the deviation between the simulations and his model.
Subject: Compressible flow
Incompressible flow
Working fluid
Leakage mass flow rate
See-through labyrinth seal
Carry-over coefficient
Discharge coefficient
Turbulent dissipation of kinetic energy
Divergence angle of jet
Reynolds number
Pressure ratio
Transition process
Choked flow
Carry-over coefficient compressibility factor
Discharge coefficient compressibility factor
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2011-05-9264
Date: 2011-05


Woo, Jeng Won (2011). Analysis of Compressible and Incompressible Flows Through See-through Labyrinth Seals. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2011 -05 -9264.

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