Labyrinth seal designs for reduced leakage have been analyzed by three-dimensional CFD simulations. The objective is to learn the effect of seal geometry modifications on total leakage through the seal and arrive at an advanced seal setting for improved seal effectiveness through reduction in leakage. Numerical modeling of the flow field were conducted at various operating conditions. The baseline seal model for this study is a conventional straight-through rotating four-tooth labyrinth seal and static honeycomb land having symmetrical hexagonal cells. The tooth design configurations include stepped single & double notched straight and inclined teeth. Another objective is to learn the effect of staggered honeycomb land with respect to rotor/teeth rotation. The effect of teeth inclination & teeth rotation compared to stationary is also discussed. CFD results indicate improved seal effectiveness with staggered honeycomb cell land. The maximum improvement of ∼9% was observed with stepped and notched inclined teeth configuration when combined with staggered honeycomb land. The leakage reduction leading to improvement in seal effectiveness as compared to baseline configuration is largely due to higher flow resistance, higher turbulence and higher blockages by introducing vortex in leakage flow through step and cavities.

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