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Investigation of the Influence of Different Rim Seal Geometries in a Low-Pressure Turbine

Investigation of the Influence of Different Rim Seal Geometries in a Low-Pressure Turbine

ASME Turbo Expo 2011
Power for Land, Sea and Air
Paper GT2011-45682


Vancouver, Canada


June 6-10, 2011




The sealing of the machine’s inside against hot-gas ingestion is commonly provided by blowing relative cold compressor air radially out through the turbine wheelspace. Rim-seals located inside the wheelspace are primarily designed to keep the required amount of sealing at a minimum. A further possible function of the rim-seal follows from the desire to reduce the aerodynamic losses contributed by the interaction of the emerging sealing flow with the boundary layer of the incoming main flow. Investigations performend in the EU project MAGPI concentrate on the interaction between the sealing flow and the main gas flow and in particular on the effect of different rim seal designs regarding the loss-mechanism in a low-pressure turbine passage. Two different rim seal designs inside a linear lowpressure turbine cascade rig have been analysed in detail. Both, the simple axial gap and the more complex compound design were investigated under the influence of different sealing mass flow rates. Furthermore, a configuration without any cavity in the main gas flow served as a reference case. Extensive measurements of the total pressure loss over the turbine blade have been conducted by means of a five-hole probe. Additionally, the blade loading has been measured at several blade heights. A considerable increase of total pressure losses was observed due to the presence of a cavity with any rim seal design, even for no sealing flow. Higher sealing mass flow rates intensified this effect which becomes manifested in a strengthening of the secondary flows downstream the cascade. Experiments revealed also significant differences in loss-increment depending on the rim seal design used. Deeper insight into the interaction of the flows close to the rim seal is given by results of Laser-Doppler-Velocimetry measurements.
The rounded shape of the compound design, which implies an axial overlapping, represents a promising prevention against hot-gas ingestion. While the axial gap design is characterized by higher losses, it also suffers considerable hot-gas ingestion in front of the blade leading edge. A parametric study regarding a possible optimization of the axial gap design is presented in this work.