A method to visualize and characterize the complex flow fields in simulated brush seals is presented. The brush seal configuration was tested in a water and then in an oil tunnel. The visualization procedure revealed typical regions that are rivering, jetting, vortical or lateral flows and exist upstream, downstream or within the seal. Such flows are engendered by variations in fiber void that are spatial and temporal and affect changes in seal leakage and stability.

While the effects of interface motion for linear or cylindrical configurations have not been considered herein, it is believed that the observed flow fields characterize flow phenomenology in both circular and linear brush seals. The axial pressure profiles upstream, across and downstream of the brush in the oil tunnel have been measured under a variety of inlet pressure conditions and the ensuing pressure maps are presented and discussed.

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