The Inter-Bristle Pressure Field in a Large-Scale Brush Seal

Joshua Bowen, Matthew Jenkins, Aaron Bowsher, Peter Crudgington, Carl Sangan, James Scobie

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Brush seals promise improvements to the widely used labyrinth seal in regulating turbomachinery leakages. Enhanced resistance to the flow is provided by a static ring of densely packed fine wire bristles that are angled in the direction of rotation and flex to accommodate rotor excursions. A large-scale brush seal was constructed to study the leakage characteristics in direct relation to the pressure field within and surrounding the bristle pack for multiple clearance conditions, therefore developing the understanding of brush seal fluid dynamic behaviour.
The governing parameter controlling leakage behaviour transitioned from pressure ratio for a large clearance, to pressure load for a line-on-line configuration. In all cases, leakage flow converged to an asymptotic value once maximum levels of bristle blow-down and pack compaction were attained. For both clearance configurations, this occurred at a pressure ratio corresponding to that at which axial distributions of pressure converged; equivalent behaviour was noted for the line-on-line configuration with pressure drop. Comparatively small changes were experienced in leakage behaviour and to the inter-bristle pressure field with increasing pressure drop for the line-on-line brush seal. This indicated that brush seal performance is more influenced by changes in bristle blow-down than bristle pack compaction.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberGTP-22-1356
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power: Transactions of the ASME
Issue number11
Early online date2 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


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