Measurement Versus Predictions of Rotordynamic Coefficients of a Hole-Pattern Gas Seal With Negative Preswirl Conference Paper uri icon


  • Test results are presented for rotordynamic coefficients of a hole-pattern annular gas seals at supply pressures to 84 bar and running speeds to 20,200 RPM. The principal test variable of interest was negative preswirl. Preswirl signifies the circumferential fluid flow entering a seal, and negative preswirl indicates a fluid swirl in a direction opposite to rotor rotation. The influences of pressure ratio and rotor speed were also investigated. Measured results produce direct and cross-coupled stiffness and damping coefficients that are a function of excitation frequency Ω. Changes in pressure ratio had only small effects on most rotordynamic coefficients. Cross-coupled stiffness showed slightly different profiles through the mid-range of Ω values. Increasing rotor speed significantly increased crosscoupled stiffness and cross-coupled damping. At 10,200 RPM, high negative inlet preswirl produced negative cross-coupled stiffness over an excitation frequency range of 200-250 Hz. Negative preswirl did not affect direct stiffness and damping coefficients. Effective damping combines the stabilizing effect of direct damping and the destabilizing effect of cross-coupled stiffness. The cross-over frequency is the precession frequency where effective damping transitions from a negative value to a positive value with increasing frequency. At 20,200 RPM with a pressure ratio of 50%, peak effective damping was increased by 50%, and the cross-over frequency was reduced by 50% for high-negative preswirl versus zero preswirl. Hence, reverse swirl can greatly enhance the stabilizing capacity of holepattern balance-piston or division-wall seals for compressors. A two-control-volume model that uses the ideal gas law at constant temperature was used to predict rotordynamic coefficients. The model predicted direct rotordynamic coefficients well, but substantially under predicted crosscoupled rotordynamic coefficients especially at high negative preswirls. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • Brown, P. D., & Childs, D. W.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • June 2012