Performance of a Complaint Foil Seal in a Small Gas Turbine Engine Simulator Employing a Hybrid Foil/Ball Bearing Support System

Salehi, M. and Heshmat, H. “Performance of a Complaint Foil Seal in a Small Gas Turbine Engine Simulator Employing a Hybrid Foil/Ball Bearing Support System,” (2001) STLE Transactions, Volume 44 (3), pp. 458-464.

Operation of a non-contact compliant gas foil seal (GFS) in a high temperature hybrid dynamic simulator representative of a small gas turbine engine spool is discussed.  At the hot section of the simulator two oil-free components, a CFS and a compliant foil bearing (CFB) were mounted at the cold (compressor) section of the simulator, an oil-mist lubricated ball bearing was installed.  the preliminary numerical study on the fluid flow and thermal analysis of a CFS was discussed in the previous work by the authors.  The experimental results for successful operation of the foil bearing and foil seal at temperatures up to 560ºC and speeds up to 55,000 rpm are presented.  The surface of the CFS and CFB journals for high temperature tests were coated with PS34 solid lubricant film, developed by NASA.  The CFS performance at different operating speeds and temperatures and differential pressures was investigated.  In a similar test, a leakage flow comparison was made among a labyrinth seal, a brush seal and a CFS.  The experimental results indicate superior performance of the CFS over the two other types of seals.    Unlike brush seal, CFS showed no evidence of rub or induced wear on the journal or seal surface. 


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