Seals used in high speed centrifugal compressors are prone to generate rotordynamic (RD) instabilities. To further understand their influence, a CFD based approach is developed. The objective of the current study is to numerically investigate and characterize the RD coefficients, representative of the dynamic seal forces. Experiments were carried out at high pressure test rig (up to 200 bar seal inlet pressure) which runs at 10000 RPM and has a high pre-swirl (about 0.9) along the same direction of rotor rotation. The rotor shaft in the experiment was instrumented with active magnetic bearings (AMBs) to linearly excite the rotor at three different frequencies: 28 Hz, 70 Hz and 126 Hz. Each frequency is characterized by amplitude of vibration and a phase. CFD simulations were carried out using commercial flow solver, using similar boundary conditions as that of experiments. The paper describes details of CFD model and its comparison against experiments. Numerical results show reasonable agreement of RD coefficients with test results. This job has to be considered as a first approach to CFD methodology applied to annular seals for the authors.

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