Brush seals are used to provide flow resistance between rotating and stationary components in gas turbines. Compliant filament seals such as brush seals exhibit a phenomenon called blow-down where the filaments deflect towards the rotor surface when a differential pressure is applied across the seal. This phenomenon is desirable as it enables seal contact to be maintained during rotor contractions and eccentric excursions. This paper describes an aerodynamic mechanism which can cause the blow-down of bristles. Importantly it shows that distortion of the bristle pack is not necessary to achieve blow-down. Experimental and computational investigations of a large scale model representative of a section of a brush seal are also reported. The measured and predicted detailed pressure distributions thus obtained are used to validate the model of blow-down presented.

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