“Dynamics of Short Eccentric Plain Seals with High Axial Reynolds Number,”
P. E. Allaire, C. C. Lee & E. J. Gunter, 1978.


Plain seals with high axial flow rates produce large stiffness and damping coefficients that can help stabilize high-speed rotating machinery. When the shaft is eccentric in the seal, a Bernoulli effect low-pressure region occurs on the large-clearance side or the shaft. A fluid-restoring force tends to center the shaft and reduce vibrations. This work extends the previous theory for short plain centered seals to large eccentricities using a perturbation analysis. Surface roughness effects are also included. An analysis of seals used in the Space Shuttle main engine hydrogen fuel turbopump indicates the desirability of plain seals over the labyrinth type. Experimental results confirm this.