The difference in leakage rates for labyrinth and windback seals is studied. It is determined that the leakage under the teeth of a windback seal is within ± 3% of a labyrinth seal with the same cavity/tooth design. The windback leaks an additional amount due to fluid passing through the long conduit composed of the continuous screw thread like channel. At low pressures and low differential pressures across the seal, the effect of tooth width upon the leakage in labyrinth and windback seals is opposite to the normal accepted standard of thinner teeth leak less.

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