This paper reports large-eddy simulations (LES) and unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) calculations of a turbine rim seal configuration previously investigated experimentally. The configuration does not include any vanes, blades or external flows, but investigates inherent unsteady flow features and limitations of CFD modelling identified in engine representative studies. Compared to RANS and URANS CFD models, a sector LES model showed closer agreement with mean pressure measurements. LES models also showed agreement with measured pressure frequency spectra, but discrepancies were found between the LES and experiment in the speed and the circumferential lobe number of the unsteady flow structures. Sensitivity of predictions to modelling assumptions and differences with experimental data are investigated through CFD calculations considering sector size, interaction between the rim cavity and the inner cavity, outer annulus boundary conditions, and the coolant mass flow. Significant sensitivity to external flow conditions, which could contribute to differences with measurements, is shown, although some discrepancies remain. Further detailed analysis of the CFD solutions is given illustrating the complex flow physics. Possible improvement of a steady RANS model using a priori analysis of LES was investigated, but showed a rather small improvement in mean pressure prediction.

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