The measurement of turbomachinery stator to drum running clearances

    D. Davidson, Rotadata Ltd, Derby, UK. ASME, 1983.

    The clearance between a compressor or turbine case and rotating blades or shrouds has been measured in a variety of ways over the years with varying degrees of accuracy. However, one critical clearance which has defied active measurement heretofore has been that between the tip of a cantilevered stator vane and an adjacent drum rotor. A significant number of turbomachines under development, representing millions of dollars, have met an inglorious end through unanticipated rubs which were experienced in this area.

    The present paper describes how a device which was introduced by its manufacturer for conventional rotor tip shroud clearance measurements was applied to measure stator-vane-to-drum clearance. The installation technique is explained, and the results of vane-to-drum measurements made with a research compressor are presented. Adaptations of the same technique should permit similar measurements to be made within a turbine, and possibly on a rotating seals buried deep within a turbomachine


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