Contribution to the estimation of force coefficients of plain gas seals with high preswirl considering rotor-foundation dynamics

Thomas T. Paulsen, Ilmar F. Santos*, Line K.H. Clemmensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Rotor dynamic force coefficients of gas seals strongly depend on the machine operational conditions. These force coefficients influence the overall dynamical response and modal properties of machines, consequently defining the machine vibration levels. Accurate estimations of the rotor dynamic coefficients are required for designing machines with low vibration amplifications and well-defined stability margins throughout the operational range. Experimental methods applied to test benches are used to validate such force coefficients and they normally rely on (i) the quality of the measurements and (ii) the assumption that the mathematical model is able to capture the whole system dynamics. If relevant dynamical contributions in a system are neglected by the mathematical model, the contribution will erroneously be concluded to originate from the seal being tested. The theoretical and experimental investigation in this paper focuses on quantifying and qualifying the effect of neglected system dynamics modelling on the estimation of seals force coefficients and stability margins. The in-situ identification of seal forces shows that the direct stiffness, cross-coupling stiffness, and direct damping coefficient estimations for a gas seal with high preswirl are statistically significantly affected by the baseline model. Nevertheless, the baseline model leads to small deviations of the seal force coefficient estimations. The prediction accuracy of stability margins is found to be more influenced by the baseline model describing the system dynamics than by the deviations between the seal force coefficient estimations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Pages (from-to)20
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Rotor dynamics
  • System identification
  • Parameter estimation
  • Finite element modelling
  • Vibration analysis
  • Seal force coefficients


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