Plate seals can provide low leakage at rotor-stator interfaces with large pressure drops in turbomachinery within a limited axial span. When designed with a self-correcting hydrostatic feedback mechanism, non-contact operation could be achieved even in the presence of large rotor transients. Flow induced dynamical instability is one of the key design challenges in plate seals for rotor-stator sealing in turbomachinery. The instabilities are caused by potentially multiple flow induced vibration mechanisms operating during different flow regimes. This paper investigates mechanisms of vortex induced flutter in compliant plate seals, which happens when the vortex shedding frequency of the plates comes close to one of the natural frequencies of vibration of the structure. An experimental methodology based on optical flow analysis of high speed videography is proposed to characterize vibrations of the ensemble of plates (“leafpack”.) Experiments show that the compliant plates vibrate in the flow field with amplitude dependent on the pressure drop. Additionally, the vibrations of individual plates are highly coupled to each other, leading to phase-locking or phase-drifting depending on boundary conditions. The leafpack has a characteristic frequency and exhibits traveling wave phenomena under certain conditions of pressurization. Using experimental insights, plate seals are modeled as a ring of a large (∼103) number of locally coupled oscillators, with nonlinear stiffness arising from hydrostatic forces. A two-way coupling exists between the structural and fluid wake dynamics. Using center manifold reduction, the coupled fourth order dynamics of the system is reduced to second order and transform the equations into the normal form for investigating the possibility of mitigating flow induced vibrations through the phenomenon of amplitude death. Conditions under which successful induction of amplitude death could eliminate plate vibration in the mode under consideration is discussed.

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