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research-article

The effects of Fluid Pre-Swirl and Swirl Brakes Design on the Performance of Labyrinth Seals

[+] Author and Article Information
Alexandrina Untaroiu

Virginia Tech, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Laboratory for Turbomachinery and Components, Norris Hall, Room 324, Virginia Tech, 495 Old Turner Street, Blacksburg, VA, USA, 24061
alexu@vt.rdu

Hanxiang Jin

Virginia Tech, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Laboratory for Turbomachinery and Components, Norris Hall, Room 107, Virginia Tech, 495 Old Turner Street, Blacksburg, VA, USA, 24061
hj3dy@vt.edu

Gen Fu

Virginia Tech, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Laboratory for Turbomachinery and Components, Norris Hall, Room 107, Virginia Tech, 495 Old Turner Street, Blacksburg, VA, USA, 24061
gen8@vt.edu

Vahe Hayrapetian

Flowserve Corporation, 2300 E Vernon Ave, Vernon, CA 90058
vhayrapetian@flowserve.com

Kariem Elebiary

Flowserve Corporation, 2300 E Vernon Ave, Vernon, CA 90058
kelebiary@flowserve.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038914 History: Received October 31, 2017; Revised December 12, 2017

Abstract

In non-contact annular labyrinth seals used in the turbomachinery, fluid pre-rotation in the direction of shaft rotation effectively increases fluid velocity in the circumferential direction and generates fluid forces with potential destabilizing effects to be exerted on the rotor. Effective swirl brakes can significantly suppress the destabilizing fluid forces as it is effectively reducing the tangential velocity. In this study a labyrinth seal with inlet swirl brakes is selected from the literature and considered the baseline design. The seal performance is evaluated using ANSYS-CFX. Design of experiments (DOE) approach is used to investigate the effects of various design variables on the seal performance. The design space consists of swirl brake's length, width, curvature at ends, the tilt angle, as well as the number of swirl brakes in circumferential direction. Simple random sampling method with Euclidean distances for the design matrix is used to generate the design points. The steady-state computational fluid dynamics simulations are then performed for each design point to analyze the performance of the swirl brakes. The quadratic polynomial fitting is used to evaluate the sensitivity of the average circumferential velocity with respect to the design variables, which gives a qualitative estimation for the performance of the swirl brakes. The results assist in better understanding of which design variables are critical and more effective in reduction of the destabilizing forces acting on the rotor, and thus will support the swirl brake design for annular pressure seals.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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