Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Hole-Pattern Seals Performance Evaluation Using Computational Fluid Dynamics and Design of Experiment Techniques

[+] Author and Article Information
Alexandrina Untaroiu

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Virginia,
Rotating Machinery and Controls
(ROMAC) Laboratory,
122 Engineer's Way,
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4746
e-mail: au6d@virginia.edu

Cheng Liu

Beijing Institute of Technology,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Beijing 100081, China

Patrick J. Migliorini, Houston G. Wood

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Virginia,
Rotating Machinery and Controls
(ROMAC) Laboratory,
122 Engineer's Way,
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4746

Costin D. Untaroiu

School of Biomedical Engineering
and Sciences,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University,
Blacksburg, VA 24060

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 February 27, 2014; final manuscript received March 10, 2014; published online May 9, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 136(10), 102501 (May 09, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-14-1129; doi: 10.1115/1.4027217 History: Received February 27, 2014; Revised March 10, 2014

A main goal of noncontacting mechanical seals is to provide minimal leakage during operation. This may be achieved by specifying a small clearance between the mating faces that is just enough to avoid rubbing contact while allowing some tolerable leakage. The amount of leakage flow is reduced through the acceleration and deceleration of the fluid through a tortuous path, so the sealing performance depends on the geometric characteristics of the leakage path. This study focuses on annular hole-pattern seals, which are noncontacting mechanical seals commonly used in high pressure compressors. A design of experiments (DOE) approach is used to investigate the effects of various geometric variables on the leakage rate of a hole-pattern seal during normal operating conditions. The design space, defined by the ranges of hole diameter, hole depth, axial space between holes and number of holes in circumferential direction, is discretized using the simple random sampling method. Then, steady-state computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are performed at each design point to evaluate seal performance. To better understand the sensitivity of the hole-pattern seal leakage rate with respect to design variables selected, response surfaces are built through its values at design points using quadratic polynomial fitting. The results show that the optimal solution had a better leakage control ability over the base model design. It is believed that the results of this study will assist in improving the design of annular hole-pattern seals.

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Fig. 1

Fluid domain of the hole-pattern seal-base model

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Fig. 2

Hole-pattern seal parameterization

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Fig. 3

Extreme condition for D2

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Fig. 4

Simplified hole-pattern seal axial view

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Fig. 5

Extreme position of rows of holes in unfolded view

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Fig. 6

Unstructured mesh grid for a sector of the seal

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Fig. 7

CFD model and boundary conditions

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Fig. 8

The design flow for gas seal design of experiment

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Fig. 9

Design matrix generating flow by constrained simple random sampling

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Fig. 10

Distribution of sampling points

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Fig. 11

Spearman coefficient bar chart

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Fig. 12

Response surface: leakage versus D1 versus D2

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Fig. 13

Response surface: leakage versus NC versus S1

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Fig. 14

Response surface: leakage versus DE1 versus DE2

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Fig. 15

Quadratic polynomial fitting results for β versus leakage



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