An experimental test facility is used to measure the leakage and rotordynamic coefficients of constant-clearance and convergent-tapered annular gas seals. The results are presented along with the theoretically predicted values. Of particular interest is the prediction that optimally tapered seals will have significantly larger direct stiffness than straight seals. The experimental results verify this prediction. Generally the theory does quite well, but fails to predict the large increase in direct stiffness when the fluid is prerotated.

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