The literature already contains some experimental, analytical and numerical investigations
on the rubbing and hysteresis behaviour of brush seals. What the investigations have in common
is that they were carried out with new and uncontaminated seals, or that such a condition was
assumed. The inﬂuence of contamination has not been explicitly investigated yet. Particularly in
stationary gas and steam turbines, foreign substances can accumulate on and in the bristle package
during steady-state operation. In the case of a rubbing event with a contaminated brush seal, e.g.,
during shutdown of the machine, the process is not expected to be comparable to that assumed
in the presence of a new, uncontaminated seal. The present paper is dedicated to the question of
the inﬂuence of contamination on the total frictional power loss generated during rubbing and the
distribution of heat ﬂuxes in friction contact. For this purpose, rub tests with two seals were carried
out on the brush seal test rig of the Institute of Thermal Turbomachinery (ITS) in new conditions.
Subsequently, the sealing packages were contaminated with oil or a salt mixture. ... mehrAfter the treatment,
the rub tests were repeated and compared with the previous tests. In addition, stiffness measurements
were used to assess the degree of contamination. A strong inﬂuence on the rubbing behaviour by
the contamination was detected. Contamination causes the ﬂexibility of the bristle package to be
greatly reduced. As a result, especially at the beginning of the ﬁrst measurements, the total power
losses and rotor heat inputs are strongly increased. This ﬂexibility is partly regained in the course of
the measurements. As expected, contamination also inﬂuences the hysteresis behaviour of the seal.
A highly increased leakage rate after rubbing could be observed, because the bristles remained close
to their deﬂected positions. In the case of the salted seal, however, an improvement in the leakage
performance could be observed after several repeat tests.