Impact of Frequency Dependence of Gas Labyrinth Seal Rotordynamic Coefficients on Centrifugal Compressor Stability
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A numerical model developed by Thorat & Childs  has indicated that the conventional frequency independent model for labyrinth seals is invalid for rotor surface velocities reaching a significant fraction of Mach 1. A theoretical onecontrol-volume (1CV) model based on a leakage equation that yields a reasonably good comparison with experimental results is considered in the present analysis. The numerical model yields frequency-dependent rotordynamic coefficients for the seal. Three real centrifugal compressors are analyzed to compare stability predictions with and without frequency-dependent labyrinth seal model. Three different compressor services are selected to have a comprehensive scenario in terms of pressure and molecular weight (MW). The molecular weight is very important for Mach number calculation and consequently for the frequency dependent nature of the coefficients. A hydrogen recycle application with MW around 8, a natural gas application with MW around 18, and finally a propane application with molecular weight around 44 are selected for this comparison. Useful indications on the applicability range of frequency dependent coefficients are given. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.
author list (cited authors)
Vannini, G., Thorat, M. R., Childs, D. W., & Libraschi, M.