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Topology optimization of labyrinth seals for CO2 compressor application

Grant number: 18/11474-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
Cooperation agreement: BG E&P
Principal Investigator:Emílio Carlos Nelli Silva
Grantee:Shahin Ranjbarzadeh
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50279-4 - Brasil Research Centre for Gas Innovation, AP.PCPE

Abstract

Uncontrolled CO2 emissions can have a great influence on the climate impacts. The emission occurs in a variety of ways; such as leakage from mechanical seals on compressors, turbines, and also from pneumatic devices, which are designed to vent gas as part of the operation. The Studies show that the major emission sources are related to pneumatic devices/pumps and equipment leaks, accounting for approximately 60% of emissions. In the quest to reduce the climate effects caused by CO2 emissions, the improvement of the Labyrinth Seals in multi-stage pumps, and compressors used for the transportation and injection of CO2 becomes a necessity. The present work begins with a summary of Labyrinth Seals, widely used in gas and pneumatic turbines, and which are a great solution for sealing on rotating parts subjected to high temperature, followed by presenting Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMCs) a subcategory of smart polymers. Finally, it will describe the idea of Topology Optimization and its application for improvement of smart Labyrinth Seals based on IPMCs. The concept of labyrinth seals is essentially a series of extended surfaces forming chambers between an axis and a fixed bearing, which causes turbulence in the fluid which inhibits its leakage. The design of Labyrinth Seals is complex because of a large number of parameters that can be altered. In order to design of the Labyrinth Seals for the best efficiency, we will provide IPMCs cilia as a Labyrinth tooth to improve the performance. Due to large deformation, low voltage actuation and low weight properties of IPMCs, it is a promising candidate for applications in Labyrinth Seals of CO2 Compressors in order reduce CO2 leakage. The study will be conducted using the Topology Optimization Method (TOM) combined with the controlled deformation of IPMCs for fluid manipulation and different analysis techniques. Numerical analysis of Fluid-IPMCs cilia interaction will be carried on commercial Multiphysics Comsol. Finally, by combining of Fluid-IPMCs interaction formulation and TOM, a smart Labyrinth Seals will be developed and presented. In order to couple the topology optimization module with Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) problems, a weak form constraint will be generated. In this way, it will be possible to investigate all the key parameters in the design of the smart labyrinth seals.

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