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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 9, Issue 3, Pages 171-179

Two- and Three-Dimensional Numerical Experiments Representing Two Limiting Cases of an In-Line Pair of Finger Seal Components

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron, Akron 44352, OH, USA
2CFD Canada, Ontario, Toronto, Canada
3NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The work presented here concerns the numerical development and simulation of the flow, pressure patterns, and motion of a pair of fingers arranged one behind the other and axially aligned in line. The fingers represent the basic elemental component of a finger seal and form a tight seal around the rotor. Yet their flexibility allows compliance with rotor motion and, in a passive-adaptive mode, compliance with the hydrodynamic forces induced by the flowing fluid. Although this article does not treat the actual staggered configuration of a finger seal, the in-line arrangement represents a first step toward that final goal. The numerical two-dimensional (axial-radial) and three-dimensional results presented herein were obtained using a commercial package (CFD-ACE+). Both models use an integrated numerical approach, which couples the hydrodynamic fluid model based on Navier-Stokes equations to the solid mechanics code that models the compliance of the fingers.