Measurement and evaluation of swirl-type flow in labyrinth seals of conventional turbine stages


The effects of load factor and rotor eccentricity were determined on flow conditions in test series for two stages. The results indicate that swirl-type entry flow follows the rules of potential swirl. Within the labyrinth cavities two spatial separated flow areas are considered. A dominating flow in periphera direction nearly fills the space between the sealing strips and the ceiling of the cavity. Below this flow, an area of axial mass transport is situated, with a slight peripheral component, limited on the nearest surroundings of the seals gap and the rotor surface. Between both flows, an exchange of energy takes place. Within the gaps, flow direction depends on axial velocity and therefore on variable flow contraction. A balance of energy within the seal and the cavities interprets the results of lateral force measurements as an influence of friction at the sealing strips surface and the rotating shaft surface. Stages with their blades put together in buckets by means of shrouding segments are particularly influenced by the rotating speed of the shrouding

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