Traditional annular seal models are based on bulk flow theory. While these methods are computationally efficient and can predict dynamic properties fairly well for short seals, they lack accuracy in cases of seals with complex geometry or with large aspect ratios (above 1.0). In this paper, the linearized rotordynamic coefficients for a seal with a large aspect ratio are calculated by means of a three-dimensional CFD analysis performed to predict the fluid-induced forces acting on the rotor. For comparison, the dynamic coefficients were also calculated using two other codes: one developed on the bulk flow method and one based on finite difference method. These two sets of dynamic coefficients were compared with those obtained from CFD. Results show a reasonable correlation for the direct stiffness estimates, with largest value predicted by CFD. In terms of cross-coupled stiffness, which is known to be directly related to cross-coupled forces that contribute to rotor instability, the CFD also predicts the highest value; however, a much larger discrepancy can be observed for this term (73% higher than the value predicted by the finite difference method and 79% higher than the bulk flow code prediction). One can see similar large differences in predictions in the estimates for damping and direct mass coefficients, where the highest values are predicted by the bulk flow method. These large variations in damping and mass coefficients, and most importantly the large difference in the cross-coupled stiffness predictions, may be attributed to the large difference in seal geometry (i.e., the large aspect ratio AR > 1.0 of this seal model versus the short seal configuration the bulk flow code is usually calibrated for using an empirical friction factor).

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