Hot gas ingestion into the turbine rim seal cavity is an important concern for engine designers. To prevent ingestion, rim seals use high pressure purge flow but excessive use of the purge flow decreases engine thermal efficiency. A single stage test turbine operating at engine-relevant conditions with real engine hardware was used to study time-resolved pressures in the rim seal cavity across a range of sealing purge flow rates. Vane trailing edge (VTE) flow, shown previously to be ingested into the rim seal cavity, was also included to understand its effect on the unsteady flow field. Measurements from high-frequency response pressure sensors in the rim seal and vane platform were used to determine rotational speed and quantity of large-scale structures (cells). In a parallel effort, a computational model using Unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) was applied to determine swirl ratio in the rim seal cavity and time-resolved rim sealing effectiveness. The experimental results confirm that at low purge flow rates, the VTE flow influences the unsteady flow field by decreasing pressure unsteadiness in the rim seal cavity. Results show an increase in purge flow increases the number of unsteady large-scale structures in the rim seal and decreases their rotational speed. However, VTE flow was shown to not significantly change the cell speed and count in the rim seal. Simulations point to the importance of the large-scale cell structures in influencing rim sealing unsteadiness, which is not captured in current rim sealing predictive models.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.