Flow Instabilities in Gas Turbine Chute Seals

Joshua Horwood, Fabian Patricio Hualca Tigsilema, Michael Wilson, James Scobie, Carl Sangan, Gary Lock, Johan Dahlqvist, Jens Fridh

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The ingress of hot annulus gas into stator-rotor cavities is an important topic to engine designers. Rim-seals reduce the pressurised purge required to protect highly-stressed components. This paper describes an experimental and computational study of flow through a turbine chute seal. The computations – which include a 360º domain - were undertaken using DLR TRACE’s time-marching solver. The experiments used a low Reynolds number turbine rig operating with an engine-representative flow structure. The simulations provide an excellent prediction of cavity pressure and swirl, and good overall agreement of sealing effectiveness when compared to experiment.
Computation of flow within the chute seal showed strong shear gradients which influence the pressure distribution and secondary-flow field near the blade leading edge. High levels of shear across the rim-seal promote the formation of large-scale structures at the wheel-space periphery; the number and speed of which were measured experimentally and captured, qualitatively and quantitatively, by computations.
A comparison of computational domains ranging from 30º to 360º indicate that steady features of the flow are largely unaffected by sector size. However, differences in large-scale flow structures were pronounced with a 60º sector and suggest that modelling an even number of blades in small sector simulations should be avoided.
Original languageEnglish
Article number021019
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power: Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020


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