The application of compliant filament seals to jet engine secondary air systems has been shown to yield significant improvements in specific fuel consumption and improved emissions. One such technology, the leaf seal, provides comparable leakage performance to the brush seal but offers higher axial rigidity, significantly reduced radial stiffness and improved compliance with the rotor. Investigations were carried out on the Engine Seal Test Facility at the University of Oxford into the behavior of a leaf seal prototype at high running speeds. The effects of pressure, speed and cover plate geometry on leakage and torque are quantified. Early publications on leaf seals showed that air-riding at the contact interface might be achieved. Results are presented which appear to confirm that air-riding is taking place. Consideration is given to a possible mechanism for torque reduction at high rotational speeds.

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