This paper presents an update of the model derived by Corral and Vega (2018, “Conceptual Flutter Analysis of Labyrinth Seal Using Analytical Models. Part I - Theoretical Support”, ASME J. of Turbomach., 140 (12), pp. 121006) for labyrinth seal flutter stability, providing a method of accounting for the effect of dissimilar gaps. The original CV model was intended as a conceptual model for understanding the effect of different geometric parameters on the seal stability comprehensively, providing qualitative trends for seal flutter stability. However, the quantitative evaluation of seal flutter, and the comparison of the CV model with detailed unsteady numerical simulations or experimental data, require including additional physics. The kinetic energy generated in the inlet gap is not dissipated entirely in the inter-fin cavity of straight-through labyrinth seals, and part is recovered in the downstream knife. This mechanism needs to be retained in the seal flutter model. It is concluded that when the theoretical gaps are identical, the impact of the recovery factor on the seal stability can be high. The sensitivity of the seal stability to large changes in the outlet to inlet gap ratio is high as well. It is concluded that fin variations due to rubbing or wearing inducing inlet gaps more open than the exit gaps lead to an additional loss of stability concerning the case of identical gaps. The agreement between the updated model and 3D linearized Navier-Stokes simulations is excellent when the model is informed with data coming from steady RANS simulations of the seal.

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