Getting to the Root Cause of a Catastrophic Impeller Failure

by George C. Zitka, P.E. on Oct 27, 2017 10:00:38 AM

Finding the root cause of a failure by narrowing down multiple overlaid symptoms can be a long and tedious process—and very often the true underlying problem is not what one might expect by a casual examination of the symptoms. That was the potential difficulty a customer of ours wanted to avoid when they investigated the catastrophic failure of a super-critical, feed-water pump used for a powerplant boiler.

Off-Highway Turbochargers

by Dr. Nicholas C. Baines on Oct 20, 2017 9:57:27 AM

The turbocharger is a very mature device that has been refined over the past 100+ years to achieve the right compromise between competing requirements. Efficiency, boost pressure, and range are all important goals, but so are low inertia to combat turbo lag, and low cost for commercial success. For off-highway vehicles, durability and service life are also important. These vehicles often operate over extreme load cycles and in very dusty conditions. In some circumstances, foreign object damage and blade fatigue may be life-limiting for the turbocharger. Turbocharger manufacturers in this space have focused on getting the right balance of these factors rather than maximizing any single parameter, and designers know that further gains in one area come at a cost to the others.


Full Disclosure on Non-Disclosure Agreements

by Bradley C. Leiser on Oct 13, 2017 9:41:21 AM

If you are working in a technical field as an engineer, and odds are you do, if you are reading this blog, then you have almost certainly come across a few Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). You have probably been asked to sign one or have asked someone to sign one. NDAs are not, by any means, restricted to the technical world, but their close tie to patents and patent applications make them very commonplace in our field of turbomachinery. In this blog, I’ll briefly dissect the anatomy of NDAs, explain their dual purpose, and share a few pitfalls to watch out for as well.

Turbomachinery in Fire Fighting

by Mark R. Anderson on Oct 5, 2017 10:26:26 AM

I was a firefighter (we never call ourselves firemen) for more than ten years.  While this was only a part time, volunteer gig, I was a turbomachinery developer and modeler as my full-time job.  Obviously, firefighters use all kinds of turbomachinery and I found it interesting to experience it from the user’s perspective.

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