Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 381–395 | Cite as

Modeling the rubbing contact in honeycomb seals

  • Tim FischerEmail author
  • Sarah Welzenbach
  • Felix Meier
  • Ewald Werner
  • Sonun Ulan kyzy
  • Oliver Munz
Original Article


Metallic honeycomb labyrinth seals are commonly used as sealing systems in gas turbine engines. Because of their capability to withstand high thermo-mechanical loads and oxidation, polycrystalline nickel-based superalloys, such as Hastelloy X and Haynes 214, are used as sealing material. In addition, these materials must exhibit a tolerance against rubbing between the rotating part and the stationary seal component. The tolerance of the sealing material against rubbing preserves the integrity of the rotating part. In this article, the rubbing behavior at the rotor–stator interface is considered numerically. A simulation model is incorporated into the commercial finite element code ABAQUS/explicit and is utilized to simulate a simplified rubbing process. A user-defined interaction routine between the contact surfaces accounts for the thermal and mechanical interfacial behavior. Furthermore, an elasto-plastic constitutive material law captures the extreme temperature conditions and the damage behavior of the alloys. To validate the model, representative quantities of the rubbing process are determined and compared with experimental data from the literature. The simulation results correctly reproduce the observations made on a test rig with a reference stainless steel material (AISI 304). A parametric study using the nickel-based superalloys reveals a clear dependency of the rubbing behavior on the sliding and incursion velocity. Compared to each other, the two superalloys studied exhibit a different rubbing behavior.


Honeycomb seals Thermo-mechanical analysis Friction Damage 


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This work is part of the research project WE 2351/14–1, funded by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). We would like to thank MTU Aero Engines for their technical input and the constructive cooperation, given by Dr. Beate Schleif.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Materials Science and Mechanics of MaterialsTechnical University of MunichGarchingGermany
  2. 2.Metals and AlloysUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Thermal TurbomachineryKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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