Understanding and modelling of main annulus gas ingestion through turbine rim seals is considered and advanced in this paper. Unsteady 3-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations and results from a more elementary model are presented and compared with experimental data previously published by Hills et al (1997). The most complete CFD model presented includes both stator and rotor in the main annulus and the inter-disc cavity. The k-ε model of turbulence with standard wall function approximations is assumed in the model which was constructed in a commercial CFD code employing a pressure correction solution algorithm. It is shown that considerable care is needed to ensure convergence of the CFD model to a periodic solution. Compared to previous models, results from the CFD model show encouraging agreement with pressure and gas concentration measurements. The annulus gas ingestion is shown to result from a combination of the stationary and rotating circumferential pressure asymmetries in the annulus. Inertial effects associated with the circumferential velocity component of the flow have an important effect on the degree of ingestion.
The elementary model used is an extension of earlier models based on orifice theory applied locally around the rim seal circumference. The new model includes a term accounting for inertial effects. Some good qualitative and fair quantitative agreement with data is shown.