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Inertial waves in turbine rim seal flows

Gao, Feng, Chew, John and Marxen, Olaf (2020) Inertial waves in turbine rim seal flows Physical Review Fluids.

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Abstract

Rotating fluids are well-known to be susceptible to waves. This has received much attention from the geophysics, oceanographic and atmospheric research communities. Inertial waves, which are driven by restoring forces, for example the Coriolis force, have been detected in the research fields mentioned above. This paper investigates inertial waves in turbine rim seal flows in turbomachinery. These are associated with the large-scale unsteady ow structures having distinct frequencies, unrelated to the main annulus blading, identified in many experimental and numerical studies. These unsteady flow structures have been shown in some cases to reduce sealing effectiveness and are difficult to predict with conventional steady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approaches. Improved understanding of the underlying ow mechanisms and how these could be controlled is needed to improve the efficiency and stability of gas turbines. This study presents large-eddy simulations for three rim seal configurations { chute, axial and radial rim seals { representative of those used in gas turbines. Evidence of inertial waves is shown in the axial and chute seals, with characteristic wave frequencies limited within the threshold for inertial waves given by classic linear theory (i.e. jf=frelj 2), and instantaneous flow fields showing helical characteristics. The radial seal, which limits the radial fluid motion with the seal geometry, restricts the Coriolis force and suppresses the inertial wave.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Gao, Fengf.gao@surrey.ac.uk
Chew, JohnJ.Chew@surrey.ac.uk
Marxen, Olafo.marxen@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 4 February 2020
Funders : Engineering and Physical Science Research Council
Grant Title : UK Turbulence Consortium
Uncontrolled Keywords : turbine rim seal; large-scale unsteady ow mode; inertial wave
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 05 Feb 2020 16:16
Last Modified : 05 Feb 2020 16:17
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853668

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