Use of Multiple Tracer Gases to Quantify Vane Trailing Edge Flow into Turbine Rim Seals

Iván Monge-Concepción, Michael D. Barringer, Reid A. Berdanier, Karen A. Thole, Christopher Robak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Overlapping features are commonly used as rim seals between stationary and rotating components in a turbine stage. These rim seals are used to prevent main gas path ingestion to the wheelspace cavity, which reduces the lifespan of critical engine components such as the turbine disk. In addition to the overlapping features, purge flow, diverted from the compressor, is injected into the rim cavity to act as an airflow sealing mechanism. Previous research identified that in addition to the purge flow in the rim cavity, cooling flow from the vane trailing edge (VTE) is ingested into the rim seal cavity carrying the potential to cool components in the wheelspace. These previous findings, however, were not able to distinctly separate purge from VTE cooling flows, which is the contribution of this paper based on uniquely using two different tracer gases. A one-stage test turbine operating at engine-relevant conditions and consisting of real engine hardware was used to validate and quantify the ingestion of the VTE flow by independently seeding the purge and VTE flows with two different tracer gases. Experimental results show the presence of VTE flow in the rim seal throughout all purge flowrates evaluated. Circumferential variation of VTE flow was also studied both experimentally and computationally using a computational fluid dynamics model. Results showed that ingested VTE flow can reduce the detrimental effect of hot gas ingestion particularly at higher purge flowrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011006
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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