This paper presents results from an extensive experimental study on the rubbing behavior of labyrinth seal fins and a honeycomb liner. The objective of the present work is to improve the understanding of the rub behavior of labyrinth seals by quantifying the effects and interactions of sliding speed, incursion rate, seal geometry and seal fin rub position on the honeycomb liner. In order to reduce the complexity of the friction system studied, this work focuses on the contact between a single seal fin and a single metal foil. The metal foil is positioned in parallel to the seal fin to represent contact between the seal fin and the honeycomb double foil section. A special test rig was set up enabling the radial incursion of a metal foil into a rotating labyrinth seal fin at a defined incursion rate of up to 0.65 mm/s and friction velocities up to 165 m/s. Contact forces, friction temperatures and wear were measured during or after the rub event. In total, 88 rub tests including several repetitions of each rub scenario have been conducted to obtain a solid data base.

The results show that rub forces are mainly a function of the rub parameters incursion rate and friction velocity. Overall, the results demonstrate a strong interaction between contact forces, friction temperature and wear behavior of the rub system. The presented tests confirm basic qualitative observations regarding blade rubbing provided in literature.

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