Experimental and theoretical work done as Phase 3 of a program sponsored by MSFC to investigate the magnitude, origin, and parametric variations of destabilizing forces which arise in high power turbines due to blade-tip leakage effects are described. The two facilities which were built for this purpose are first described. The larger one is a closed, 2 atm pressurized Freon-12 flow loop in which is installed a 1:1 replica of the SSME first stage hydrogen turbine, which can be driven by the flow, and which generates about 14 KW of power into a load-absorbing DC generator. The smaller facility is used to measure the forces on labyrinth seals of the same type as those used in our turbine tests with a shrouded turbine. The seals can be kinematically whirled and spun (independently), and the inlet swirl can be set to a variety of values. Air is the working fluid (with atmospheric discharge) and the data are real-time pressure distributions in the seal glands. The five different unshrouded turbine configurations were tested with static offsets, plus one with a shroud band and a two-ridge seal. Theoretical models of various degrees of complexity were developed to help interpreting and extrapolating the data. The notion of partial work done by the fluid leaking through the tip gaps was put on a quantitative basis by examining the leakage vortex roll-up dynamics. This was used to obtain a theory of the work loss due to a uniform gap. Perturbation and multiple scale arguments were then used to extend this to the case of an eccentric turbine. This yields an unsteady, 3-D theory which can predict the distribution of the approach flow, and its effect on work defect, cross-forces, pressure patterns, and dynamic damping. The predictions agree qualitatively with the data and exhibit the correct trends, but the cross-forces are generally under-predicted.
AIRCRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER