Shaft vibration caused by rotor dynamic (RD) fluid force generated by the seal clearance flow has caused several problems. Because such vibration is a coupled phenomenon of clearance flow and shaft vibration, a coupling analysis is essential to solve these problems. In this study, a two-way coupling fluid–structure interaction (FSI) analysis of the seal clearance flow and shaft vibration of a rotor system was conducted and verified through experiments. The rotor system used was a vertical, flexible rotor system with a plain annular seal. In the numerical analysis of the seal clearance flow, the continuity equation and momentum equations, which were averaged across the film thickness, were numerically solved. To suppress the numerical instability, which is unique to the coupling analysis, and improve its numerical stability, a method of successively correcting pressure and shaft acceleration values was adopted so that the continuity equation and rotor equations of motion could be satisfied at every time step. By performing the coupling simulation, the frequency response characteristics of whirling amplitude and leakage flow were investigated. In regard to the stability of the system, the rotational speeds at which self-excited vibration occurs (onset speed of instability: OSI) in its increasing condition and ceases (onset speed of dropdown: OSD) in its decreasing condition were investigated. The coupling analysis results reasonably agree with the experimental results, which demonstrate the validity of the analysis method. In addition, the influence of static eccentricity and whirling amplitude on stability (OSI and OSD) was clarified, which are useful in the design stage of turbomachinery.

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