Rodrigues Rodrigues, Margarita (2006-12). Improving performance and rotordynamic characteristics of injection compressors via much longer balance-piston and division-wall seals. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Predictions are presented for a selected compressor using longer hole-pattern seals with L/D ratios from 0.5 to 2.5. Results were obtained for back-to-back and in-line compressors with the seal located at mid-span and at 82% of rotor span respectively, considering different seal lengths, radial seal clearances, as well as constant clearance and convergent-tapered seal geometries. Predictions of the synchronous rotordynamic coefficients and leakage were estimated using a code developed by Kleynhans and Childs with zero preswirl and constant pressure ratio of 0.5. This code does not include moment coefficients; which can affect the results. Results of all configurations show an increase of stiffness and damping coefficients with increasing seal length. In addition, a significant reduction in leakage (approximately 47 percent) as L/D increases is exhibited for constant clearance and convergent-tapered hole-pattern seals. For the back-to-back compressor, the stability analysis predicts that the system is stable for all speeds and L/D ratios. In fact, the rotor cylindrical-bending mode becomes more stable with lengthening the seals, for both constant clearance and convergent-tapered hole-pattern seals. For constant clearance seals (Case A), the synchronous response at mid-span show a critical speed at 8,000 rpm (cylindrical-bending mode) for all L/D ratios, while a reduction of 85 percent in the peak response is exhibited as L/D increases. Case B, in which the radial clearance is increased as L/D increases to have the same leakage as case A, slightly increases the synchronous response of the model compared to case A. For convergent-tapered seals (Case C), the synchronous response at mid-span shows a higher critical speed (9,000 rpm) for all L/D ratios, and a larger reduction (89 percent) in peak response with increasing L/D, compared to Case A. However, the magnitude of the peak response is larger for convergent-tapered seals than that for constant clearance seals, for all L/D ratios. For in-line compressor, the stability analysis predicts two critical speeds at 6,000 (conical mode) and 18,000 rpm (first bending mode) respectively. Both modes are predicted to be stable for all speed and L/D ratios. Synchronous response at the mid-span for Case A shows the peak response at the first critical speed is slightly reduced as L/D increases while the response at the second critical speed is increased for most of the cases. In addition, the second critical speed is reduced from 18,000 to 13,000 rpm, which is not a concern because it remains above the running speed. This was also the trend for convergent-tapered hole-pattern seal. In addition, the increase of radial clearance in Case B slightly increases the amplitude of vibration, compared to Case A.

publication date

  • December 2006