Analytical and experimental evaluation of the leakage and stiffness characteristics of high pressure pocket damper seals

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Texas A&M University

This thesis presents numerical predictions for the leakage and direct stiffness coefficients of pocket damper seals. Modifications made to earlier flow-prediction models are discussed. Leakage and static pressure measurements on straight-through and diverging configurations of eight-bladed and twelve-bladed seals were used for code validation and for calculation of seal discharge coefficients. Higher than expected leakage rates were measured in the case of the twelve-bladed seal, while the leakage rates for the eight-bladed seals were predicted reasonably accurately. Results are presented for shake tests conducted on the seals at pressures of up to 1000 Psi (6.90 MPa). Test variables included pressure drop across the seals and rotor speed. The experimentally obtained stiffness coefficients are compared to results of a rotordynamic damper seal code, which uses the corrected mass flow-rate calculation method. Results show that the code under-predicts the magnitude of the seal's stiffness for most test cases. However, general trends in the frequency dependency of the direct stiffness are more accurately predicted. The expectation of high values of negative stiffness in diverging seals is confirmed by the results, but the frequency at which the sign of the stiffness becomes positive is considerably lower than is predicted. In addition to presenting high-pressure test data, this thesis also attempts to provide some insight into how seal parameters can be modified to obtain desired changes in seal stiffness.