Shaun Richard Burden
Academic and research departmentsCentre for Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow, School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences.
My research project
Predicting the degree of hot gas ingestion into turbine disc cavities is a challenge for computational fluid dynamics due to the complex unsteady flow dynamics in turbine rim seals and sensitivity to operating condition and seal geometry. This paper reports research aimed at clarifying the effect of operating conditions on seal performance and turbulence modelling requirements. A systematic study of sealing performance for an axial rim seal is reported, comparing an unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) model and wall-modelled large-eddy simulation (WMLES). The conditions considered are classed as rotation-driven ingestion, pressure-driven ingestion, and combined mechanism ingestion. WMLES and URANS results showed similar ingestion levels and seal flows within the pressure-driven regime. For the rotationally-driven condition URANS displays larger, more coherent vortical flow structures than the WMLES. The larger vortices in the URANS drive ingress into the wheel-space resulting in higher levels of ingestion than indicated by the WMLES. For the combined ingestion condition, WMLES shows higher levels of ingestion and flow unsteadiness than URANS. The present results give some explanation for the mixed results reported for the performance of URANS models in previous studies.