The turbomachinery component of interest in this paper, the pocket damper seal, has the dual purpose of limiting leakage and providing an additional source of damping at the seal location. The rotordynamic coefficients of these seals (primarily the direct stiffness and damping) are highly dependent on the leakage rates through the seals and the pressures in the seals’ cavities. This paper presents both numerical predictions and experimentally obtained results for the leakage and the cavity pressures of pocket damper seals operating at high pressures. The seals were tested with air, at pressures up to 1000 Psi (6.92 MPa), as the working fluid. Earlier flow-prediction models were modified and used to obtain theoretical reference values for both mass flow-rates and pressures. Leakage and static pressure measurements on straight-through and diverging-clearance configurations of eight-bladed and twelve-bladed seals were used for code validation and for calculation of seal discharge coefficients. Higher than expected leakage rates were measured in the case of the twelve-bladed seal, while the leakage rates for the eight-bladed seals were predicted with reasonable accuracy. Differences in the axial pitch lengths of the cavities and the blade profiles of the seals are used to explain the discrepancy in the case of the twelve-bladed seal. The analysis code used also predicted the static cavity pressures reasonably well. Tests conducted on a six-bladed pocket damper seal to further investigate the effect of blade profile supported the results of the eight-bladed and twelve-bladed seal tests and matched theoretical predictions with satisfactory accuracy.

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