Floating Seal for Turbopumps

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$124,898.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX13CM09P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
124422
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
H2.02
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
FL, Jupiter, FL, 33458-7887
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
048159342
Principal Investigator:
Ken Head
Program Manager
(561) 427-6288
KHead@fttinc.com
Business Contact:
Lloyd Mazer
Business Official
(561) 427-6337
LMazer@fttinc.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
Cryogenic engines for in-space propulsion require innovative technologies to provide long-life, lightweight, and reliable turbopump designs. One area open for improvement is seals for rotating-to-static hardware. Florida Turbine Technologies, Inc. (FTT) is proposing the use of a floating seal for turbopump applications. The floating seal would allow lower leakages than current state-of-the-art seals, such as labyrinth seals. The floating seal also has the added benefit of maintaining low leakages throughout transients and rotor displacements, since the floating seal's clearance tracks with the rotor axial movement and is independent of radial movement. Plus, the floating seal is a non-contacting seal with high pressure and speed capability; this increases its reliability relative to contacting face seals or labyrinth seals operating at the same conditions and leakages. The floating seal is proposed to work with the cryogenic liquid propellants used in upper stage engines, liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The feasibility of the floating seal for turbopump applications will be determined through detailed 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses. 1D parametric studies to vary the seal geometry and boundary conditions will also be performed. The concerns of axial instability and increased turbopump axial length will be addressed during Phase I.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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