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Market developments set to boost turbocharger use


Turbocharger output is set to increase at a rapid rate with some estimates showing 100% growth within the next 4-5 years from 15 to 30 million units.

Turbochargers are becoming increasingly common in both diesel and gasoline engines and are used in many applications such as automobiles, trucks, locomotives, boats and ships.

The turbocharger increases engine output without the need to increase the size of the engine thus improving power output, emissions and fuel consumption.

Manufacturing the turbo involves many processes including milling, turning, lapping and finish honing. The balance, geometry and surface finish of the turbo components are critical and require close quality control, typically involving roundness and surface finish instruments.

For example the central shaft of the turbocharger is running at speeds of around 150,000 to 170,000rpm, therefore straightness, parallelism and in turn concentricity need to be controlled to ensure clearance of the impeller and turbine with respect to their housings; all of which ensures efficiency and low-running noise.

The roundness of the shaft and its bearings (typically journal bearings) can also affect the smooth running of the turbocharger, any distortion in the housings will affect the journal bearings and vice versa.

In order to keep these bearings lubricated a constant supply of pressurised oil is needed. By use of split seals this oil is kept apart from exhaust and inlet gases. This means that the surface quality and form of the seals and their mating surface on the shaft need to be controlled to ensure a tight seal. The surface finish of these mating parts can be measured using a Talyrond 565 in a radial or axial direction allowing manufacturers to prevent leakage and ensure reliability.

Using the Talyrond 565 virtually all of the parts of the turbo can be measured, whether measuring flatness and axial run-out of the bearing thrust faces, parallelism and concentricity of the bearing housings or the finish of the central shaft making it a truly versatile inspection system.

Images and results courtesy of Cummins Turbo Technologies


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