Rotor-fluid interactions can cause self-excited shaft vibrations of high density turbomachinery. Often the amplitude of the vibrations reaches unacceptably high amplitudes and the scheduled power or running speed cannot be achieved. One of the most important sources of excitation is the flow through labyrinth seals. For a reliable design it is necessary to predict these forces exactly, including not only stiffness but also damping coefficients.

As the forces in labyrinth gas seals are rather small only minimal experimental data is available for the comparison and validation of calculations. Meanwhile a new and easy-to-handle identification procedure enables the investigation of numerous seal geometrys. The paper presents dynamic coefficients obtained with a stepped labyrinth and the comparison with other seal concepts.

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