The design of modern aircrafts propulsion systems is strongly influenced by the important objective of environmental impact reduction. Through a great number of researches carried out in the last decades, significant improvements have been obtained in terms of lower fuel consumption and pollutant emission. Experimental tests are a necessary step to achieve new solutions that are more efficient than the current designs, even if during the preliminary design phase, a valid alternative to expensive experimental tests is the implementation of numerical models. The processing power of modern computers allows indeed the simulation of more complex and detailed phenomena than the past years. The present work focuses on the implementation of a numerical model for rotating stepped labyrinth seals installed in low-pressure turbines. These components are widely employed in sealing turbomachinery to reduce the leakage flow between rotating components. The numerical simulations were performed by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology, focusing on the leakage performances at different rotating speeds and inlet preswirl ratios. Investigations on velocity profiles into seal cavities were also carried out. To begin with, a smooth labyrinth seal model was validated by using the experimental data found in the literature. The numerical simulations were extended to the honeycomb labyrinth seals, with the validation performed on the velocity profiles. Then, the effects of two geometrical parameters, the rounded fin tip leading edge, and the step position were numerically investigated for both smooth and honeycomb labyrinth seals. The obtained results are generally in good agreement with the experimental data. The main effect found when the fin tip leading edge was rounded was a large increase in leakage flow, while the step position contribution to the flow path behavior is nonmonotone.

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