Static and dynamic characteristics are experimentally investigated for annular plain seals with porous materials applied to the seal surface by insertion into the middle of the seal. Experimental results show that annular plain seals with porous materials have a higher leakage flow rate, larger main stiffness coefficients, and smaller cross-coupled stiffness coefficients and main damping coefficients than conventional annular plain seals with solid surfaces. In the porous seals, an increase of approximately 30 percent in the leakage flow rate and reduction of the same amount in the main damping coefficients are obtained, whereas the main stiffness coefficients for the porous seals are four to six times as much as those for the solid seals due to the increase in the hydrostatic force induced by a function of the hydrostatic porous bearing. This suggests that the quantitative effects of the porous materials on the main stiffness coefficients are much more significant than the effects on the leakage flow rate and the other dynamic coefficients. The larger main stiffness coefficients for the porous seals yield larger radial reaction force for a small concentric whirling motion, which would contribute to rotor stability from the viewpoint of increasing speed limits due to a stiffer rotor support.

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