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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Experimental Investigation on the Influence of Geometrical Parameters on the Frictional Heat Input and Leakage Performance of Brush Seals

[+] Author and Article Information
Manuel Hildebrandt

Institut für Thermische Strömungsmaschinen,
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT),
Kaiserstraße 12,
Karlsruhe D-76131, Germany
e-mail: hildebrandt@kit.edu

Corina Schwitzke, Hans-Jörg Bauer

Institut für Thermische Strömungsmaschinen,
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT),
Kaiserstraße 12,
Karlsruhe D-76131, Germany

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Structures and Dynamics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received September 8, 2017; final manuscript received October 16, 2017; published online February 27, 2019. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(4), 042504 (Feb 27, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1498; doi: 10.1115/1.4038767 History: Received September 08, 2017; Revised October 16, 2017

Because of the superior sealing characteristics compared to labyrinth seals, brush seals found an increased spread in turbomachinery in recent years. Their outstanding sealing performance results mainly from their flexibility. Thus, a very small gap between the rotor and bristle package can be obtained without running the risk of severe detrimental deterioration in case of rubbing. Rubbing between rotor and seal during operation might occur as a result of e.g., an unequal thermal expansion of the rotor and stator or a rotor elongation due to centrifugal forces or maneuver forces. Thanks to the flexible structure of the brush seal the contact forces during a rubbing event are reduced; however, the frictional heat input can still be considerable. Particularly, in aircraft engines with their thin and lightweight rotor structures, the permissible material stresses can easily be exceeded by an increased heat input and thus harm the engine's integrity. The geometry of the seal has a decisive influence on the resulting contact forces and consequently the heat input. The complex interactions between the geometric parameters of the seal and the heat input and leakage characteristics are not yet fully understood. This paper presents the investigation of the influence of the geometric parameters of a brush seal on the heat input into the rotor and the leakage behavior. Two seals with different packing densities were tested under relevant engine conditions with pressure differences ranging from 1 to 7 bar, relative surface speeds ranging from 30 to 180 m/s, and radial overlaps ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 mm. The transient temperature rise during the rub event was recorded with 24 thermocouples in close proximity to the rub contact embedded in the rotor structure. By comparing the temperature curves with the results of a thermal finite element (FE) analysis of the rotor the heat input into the rotor was calculated iteratively. It could be shown that the packing density has a decisive influence on the overall operating behavior of a brush seal. Furthermore, results for the heat flux distribution between seal and rotor are shown.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Clamped design (left), welded design (right)

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Fig. 2

Sectional view of test rig. Detail: bore hole geometry of rotor instrumentation.

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Fig. 3

Instrumented test rotor; top view

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Fig. 4

Two-dimensional FE model

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Fig. 5

Normalized total frictional power loss and rotor heat input over rotor-seal interference. Normalized to the starting value of seal 2 at 0.1 mm.

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Fig. 6

Normalized stiffness over pressure difference. Normalized to the starting value of seal 2 at 0 bar.

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Fig. 7

Normalized total frictional power loss and rotor heat input over pressure difference. Normalized to the starting value of seal 2 at 0.1 mm (see Fig. 5).

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Fig. 8

Normalized blow-down over pressure difference. Normalized to the max. value of seal 2 at 7 bar.

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Fig. 9

Normalized total frictional power loss and rotor heat input over circumferential velocity. Normalized to the starting value of seal 2 at 0.1 mm (see Fig. 5).

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Fig. 10

Discharge coefficient cd for the conditions before, during and after rubbing of the seal; (a) pressure difference, (b) rotor-seal interference, and (c) circumferential velocity

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Fig. 11

Normalized difference of pressures in balancing chambers between seal 1 and 2 after the rubbing event

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