A Combined Experimental and Turbulence-Resolved Modeling Approach for Aeroengine Turbine Rim Seals

Simon Vella, Peter Darby, Mauro Carnevale, James A. Scobie, Gary D. Lock, Clément Jarrossay, Francesco Salvatori, Damien Bonneau, Carl M. Sangan

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Ingress is the penetration of hot mainstream gas into the rotor–stator wheel-space formed between adjacent disks; a rim seal is installed at the periphery of the wheel-space. Purge flow is bled from the compressor and re-introduced in the turbine to reduce, or in the limit prevent, ingress. This study presents a unique, concomitant experimental and turbulence-resolved numerical investigation of ingress in an aeroengine rim seal, with leakage flow.

Experimental modeling is conducted in the University of Bath's 1-stage turbine test facility. Measurements of gas concentration, pressure and swirl were used to assess the performance of the rim seal. A parallel study using improved delayed detached eddy simulations (IDDES) was used to generate time-averaged and time-resolved flow-fields, enabling direct comparison with experimental data. The modeled geometry included realistic features typical of aeroengine architectures, including a contoured stator undershroud and an omega-seal cover plate. Such features were shown to locally distort the flow field, highlighting the limitation when modeling simplified geometry. The circumferential distribution of sealing effectiveness was nonaxisymmetric and synchronized in accordance with the local radial velocity field. Utilization of a detached eddy simulation (DES) turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation multiplier demonstrated regions where increased turbulence resolution was required to resolve the appropriate scale of turbulent eddies. IDDES computations were found to accurately capture the radial distributions of pressure, swirl and effectiveness, both in the absence and presence of a superposed leakage flow, provided that the mesh was sufficiently refined so as to resolve >50% of the energy cascade. The IDDES approach exhibited significantly superior agreement with experiments when compared to previous studies that employed the unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number081020
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power
Issue number8
Early online date22 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2024

Data Availability Statement

The datasets generated and supporting the findings of this article are obtainable from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


  • aeroengine turbine rim seals
  • cavity flows
  • high fidelity computations
  • improved delayed detached eddy simulation (IDDES)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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