An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the geometry-leakage relationship for advanced, stepped labyrinth seals. A unique, variable-geometry water test facility was constructed and used to acquire leakage resistance measurements for two-dimensional, planar models. Flow visualization techniques were also used to assist in identifying and understanding the turbulence generating flow patterns. It was found that contoured surfaces and restrictor tooth leading-edge shapes of proper dimensions can be incorporated into the cavity geometry to reduce seal leakage. Specifically, the combination of a sloping surface and a curved surface on the rotor within the labyrinth cavity gave significant improvement.
Flow Visualization and Leakage Measurements of Stepped Labyrinth Seals: Part 2 — Sloping Surfaces
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Rhode, DL, Younger, JS, & Wernig, MD. "Flow Visualization and Leakage Measurements of Stepped Labyrinth Seals: Part 2 — Sloping Surfaces." Proceedings of the ASME 1996 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition. Volume 1: Turbomachinery. Birmingham, UK. June 10–13, 1996. V001T01A043. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/96-GT-137
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