Patent Number: 6,168,377

Title: Method and apparatus for eliminating thermal bowing of steam turbine rotors

Abstract: Brush seals are employed on steam turbine rotors without the risk of causing thermal rotor bowing and without compromising the sealing performance. In one form, a groove in the rotor has an insert in frictional contact with the brush seal. The non-uniform distribution of heat due to frictional contact between the brush seal and proud portions of the rotor is dissipated within the insert such that adjoining rotor portions are substantially uniformly heated without causing thermal bow. In a further form, a groove or grooves are provided in the rotor surface adjacent to the brush seal and maintain non-uniform heat distribution locally in the rotor without causing thermal bow of the rotor. In another form, a land projects radially outwardly of the rotor surface in contact with the brush seal. The non-uniform distribution of heat due to frictional contact between proud portions of the land and the brush seal dissipates into a uniform distribution of heat in the rotor proper to avoid thermal bowing. In a final form, the brush seal has frictional contact with bucket dovetail or wheel protrusions spaced radially outwardly of the rotor such that non-uniform distribution dissipates into a uniform distribution within the rotor.

Inventors: Wolfe; Christopher Edward (Niskayuna, NY), Baily; Frederick George (Ballston Spa, NY), Rentz; Lawrence Edward (Clifton Park, NY), Morson; Alexander (Clifton Park, NY), Turnquist; Norman Arnold (Cobleskill, NY), Marks; Paul Thomas (Clifton Park, NY), Carr; Roger Jordan (Westminster, MA)

Assignee: General Electric Co.

International Classification: F01D 11/00 (20060101); F16J 15/32 (20060101); F01D 011/00 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018