The structure of labyrinth cavity flow has been experimentally investigated in a three fin axial turbine labyrinth seal (four cavities). The geometry corresponds to a generic steam turbine rotor shroud. The relative wall motion has not been modeled. The measurements were made with specially developed low-blockage pneumatic probes and extensive wall pressure mapping. Instead of the classical picture of a circumferentially uniform leakage sheet exiting from the last labyrinth clearance, entering the channel, and uniformly spreading over the downstream channel wall, the results reveal uneven flow and the existence of high circumferential velocity within the entire exit cavity. The circumferential momentum is brought into the cavity by swirling fluid from the main channel. This fluid penetrates the cavity and breaks up the leakage sheet into individual jets spaced according to the blade passages. This gives rise to strong local cross flows that may also considerably disturb the performance of a downstream blade row.
Flow Interaction From the Exit Cavity of an Axial Turbine Blade Row Labyrinth Seal
Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute and presented at the 45th International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition, Munich, Germany, May 8–11, 2000. Manuscript received by the International Gas Turbine Institute February 2000. Paper No. 2000-GT-481. Review Chair: D. Ballal.
Pfau , A., Treiber , M., Sell, M., and Gyarmathy, G. (February 1, 2000). "Flow Interaction From the Exit Cavity of an Axial Turbine Blade Row Labyrinth Seal ." ASME. J. Turbomach. April 2001; 123(2): 342–352. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1368124
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