In axial turbomachinery such as low pressure turbines, shrouded airfoils with labyrinth seals are commonly used. Among different sealing options, labyrinth seals in particular are characterized by long term durability and high sealing efficiency. Since a leakage flow is inevitable, a thorough understanding of how the leakage flow exits the cavities, its interaction with the main flow, and the induction of losses is necessary. In order to take into account unsteady effects, three-dimensional time resolved RANS computations of a 1.5 stage LPT rig in its design operating point are conducted. To capture effects in the boundary layer, a low Reynolds approach is used at the blade surface as well as on the hub and tip surfaces. To match the real geometry of the turbine blades, fillets have been modeled. Simulations were performed using the TRACE solver developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The investigation shows how cavity flows have a significant influence on the main-flow aerodynamics and the loss generation. Steady and unsteady results with full spatially discretized cavities show a significant decrease of isentropic efficiency compared to simulations without cavities. The efficiency drop for the steady and time-averaged cavity computations can be explained with intensified secondary flow. The time resolved calculation shows a strong non-uniformity of the leakage flux depending on the instantaneous circumferential position of the up- and downstream blades. The time dependent ingress of cavity leakage results in the formation of a counter-rotating vortex pair. In terms of the influence on the main flow, it is shown that the interaction is limited to the end walls with almost no influence on the midspan flow.

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