This paper reports numerical predictions and measurements of the flow field in a stepped labyrinth seal. The theoretical work and the experimental investigations were successfully combined to gain a comprehensive understanding of the flow patterns existing in such elements. In order to identify the influence of the honeycomb structure, a smooth stator as well as a seal configuration with a honeycomb facing mounted on the stator wall were investigated. The seal geometry is representative of typical three-step labyrinth seals of modern aero engines. The flow field was predicted using a commercial finite volume code with the standard k-ε turbulence model. The computational grid includes the basic seal geometry as well as the three-dimensional honeycomb structures.

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