Turbine shaft seals suffer from rubs caused by thermal growth, assembly misalignment and rotor dynamic vibration at engine start-up and shut-down. This paper presented the design of a new high-speed rotating test facility developed for the performance characterisation of turbine shaft seals at the University of Bath.

The rig features a 254 mm diameter rotor, capable of rotating at speeds of up to 15,000 rpm (equivalent to rotor surface speeds up to 200 m/s). The maximum pressure difference across a seal is 3.5 bar. Also in this paper the performance of a labyrinth seal was investigated. The rotordynamic co-efficients of the seal were calculated by exciting the casing with an electromagnetic shaker. The leakage performance, direct and cross-coupled seal stiffnesses and effective damping coefficients are determined.