Valentine’s Day is February 14, and while some cynics refer to it as a “Hallmark holiday”, most people commemorate the day in some way. One of the biggest challenges is finding a card that perfectly captures the way you feel about someone, while also reflecting who you are.  Well, Concepts NREC has created some turbomachinery-themed Valentine’s Day cards for engineers. These fall into the Art end of our Art-to-Part Solution.


Flank Milling - How Hard Can It Be?

by Peter Klein on Jan 4, 2019 10:11:00 AM

 When designing compressors, engineers often use ruled-surface blades with the goal of making a shape that’s easily manufactured on a 5-axis machine.  Theses blades can be quickly machined in one pass by aligning the side of a cutting tool to the rulings. This process is often referred to as “flank milling.”  The alternative is to make many passes with the tool tip, a process known as “point milling”. For the right application, flank milling is often favored for shorter cutting times and better surface quality, but there are some caveats.

The Wright Stuff for Turbomachinery

by Dr. David Schowalter on Dec 14, 2018 9:17:41 AM

As an engineer, you probably have at least some familiarity with the story of how two bicycle mechanics, named Orville and Wilbur Wright, invented controlled-powered flying machines at Kitty Hawk, NC. While I knew the basic story, I learned a lot more reading David McCullough’s book “The Wright Brothers,” which, I highly recommend. I could not help but make the connections to what we, in the turbomachinery industry, owe to these dedicated and industrious brothers. Their groundbreaking flight, pictured below, on December 17, 1903,  is often cited as the birth of modern aviation.

Reverse Engineering - Going from Part to Art

by Sharon Wight on Dec 7, 2018 9:12:37 AM

Have you ever needed to know the exact geometry of a compressor that has been running for years in your process plant? Perhaps you need to analyze how it would perform if the process fluid had to be changed to meet new government regulations. Or maybe there has been damage to the impeller and a complete mechanical analysis is required before a new one can be put into service. Eventually, everything, even well-designed turbomachinery, needs to be replaced or upgraded.

There is No Such Thing as a Design Point

by Dr. Peter Weitzman on Oct 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Most turbomachines need to operate across a range of fluid flow rates and speeds. This is obvious in transportation applications where gas turbine engines and turbochargers need to operate at all of the speeds, altitudes and temperatures that the vehicles they power will encounter. In industrial and refrigeration applications, turbomachines need to have a wide operating range to make them appealing to end users who want efficiency under many operating conditions.

Designing Turbomachinery is like Solving a Rubik's Cube

by Barbara Shea on Sep 21, 2018 10:01:00 AM

I think we can all agree that designing turbomachinery is hard. There are just so many moving parts (pun intended) in the design process, and they are all interconnected.  When you change the blade shape, it changes the aerodynamics, and could impact manufacturability. Everything you change has a cascading effect across many different areas, because all of the areas are linked; just like a Rubik's® cube! Only, in turbomachinery design, you are not always trying to get all of the sides to be one color. Heck, even a 3-year old can do that

Investing in Designing Gas Turbines for Power Generation

by David Teal on Sep 14, 2018 11:46:08 AM

Gas turbines (or GTs) are important in the power generation sector due to their high efficiency, cleaner emissions and faster startup than old coal-powered plants. These power generators can range from small, local power supplies to huge units, large enough to power a city.  Even with the surge in renewable energy sources, there will always be a need for power when the sun goes down, on a windless day or when power peaks are expected. GTs fill this power gap. GTs are very power dense, meaning they can produce a lot of power in a relatively small footprint. This is very useful in a city, offshore, or where vast landmasses are unavailable. 

The Challenges & Cures of CFD Solution Failures

by Mark R. Anderson on Aug 3, 2018 10:04:04 AM

Computational fluid dynamic analysis (CFD) has become a standard part of the turbomachinery design process. Within Concepts NREC’s Agile Engineering Design System, FINE/Turbo, from our Partner NUMECA International, is the tool used to accomplish aerodynamic analysis of designs by applying standard methods of three-dimensional analysis. However, arriving at a converged CFD solution in any CFD program can sometimes be a challenge.

Is Laboratory Testing Still Needed for Turbomachinery Development?

by Andrew Provo on May 17, 2018 1:31:41 PM

Historically, testing has played a critical role in the turbomachinery design process and multiple rounds of “design, test, analyze, repeat” were not uncommon.  Today however, the industry seems to be drifting away from development testing. Often, the only scheduled test in a development program is the performance validation test of the first assembled system. I believe this trend exists for three main reasons:

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