The Chemistry of Turbos

Introduction

YouTube Video


  • A turbocharger is an object that relies on high speed exhaust air to create forced induction in an engine.

  • I chose the turbocharger to research because I enjoy cars and forced inducing objects such as turbos and superchargers are some of the best power modifications to make on a vehicle when considering horsepower to cost.

  • Many people’s lives are affected by turbos whether or not they realise it. Soon, many cars will be made of small four cylinder engines equipped with a turbo or supercharger due to increasingly difficult emission standards.

Composition of ...

Turbo Housing: Cast Steel

Blades: Chrome, Titanium, Aluminum, Molybdenum, and Tungsten


Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

List the two main chemical, component or compounds based on your research.

  • Turbo Housing:

    • How: Provides a housing for the turbo blades

    • What: Acts as an enclosed area for the air to become compressed

    • When: When the blades spool, the housing compresses the air

    • Why: Required as a holder for the blades

    • Where: Surrounds the blade and is found near the engine after the intercooler

    • Explain what this compound/chemical/component is (See step 4 above).


  • Turbo Blades:

    • How: Spins at speeds upwards of 150,000 rpm’s

    • What: “shovels” air through the exit port of the turbo, entering the cylinders

    • When: Exhaust gasses have a great enough speed to rotate the turbo blades

    • Why: The heart of the turbo. Without this the turbo would not work

    • Where: Within the turbo housing

Chemistry's Role

-The turbo housing is made by sand and molten aluminum. The core of the housing is made of compressed sand then molten aluminum covers the sand in a mold.


-Blades are made of a nickel chrome alloy with the ability to sustain high temperatures. They are made in a mold then cut precisely by computers.


Turbos are man made and would not be able to be built if chemistry was an unexplored science. Without the ability to create different alloys turbos would not be able to produce the performance and heat tolerability they do.


Background Research

-How they work: exhaust gasses spin the blades in the turbo while drawing air in through the intake. The air is then pressurized in the turbo and eventually becomes induced into the engine (boost). The cylinders provide a greater explosive force, known as combustion. This more explosive force in turn puts more rotational force on the crankshaft which then delivers the power to the wheels.


-Where they are made: A turbo starts its life out as sand or wood. After either is created into a mold it is sent to a factory where molten aluminum (typically) is poured over the mold and in turn creates the housing.


-How they are made: Turbo blades are also created in a mold but then balanced by a computer that detects any off balances.


Resources

https://prezi.com/d6rl4cm0vbgj/the-chemistry-of-turbochargers/


-turbo: latin word meaning spinning top

-first used in aircraft but not manufactured due to cost

-Alfred Buchi 1905 switzerland

-How they work: exhaust gasses spin the blades in the turbo while drawing air in through the intake. The air is then pressurized in the turbo and eventually becomes induced into the engine (boost). The cylinders provide a greater explosive force, known as combustion. This more explosive force in turn puts more rotational force on the crankshaft which then delivers the power to the wheels.

-Reactions: A naturally aspirated engine will burn gas (2C8H18+25 O2) and produce carbon dioxide (16 C02 + 18 H2O)

-Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon dioxide are all found in air

-Perks:

-Improved fuel economy

-increased power


http://www.turbos.bwauto.com/products/turbochargerHistory.aspx

-Tubo almost as old as the combustion engine

-Researched by Gottlieb Daimler and Rudolf Diesel in 1885 and 1896

-Increased power by 40%

-first production limited to very large engines, such as marine

-Started in truck engines for the automotive industry

-Chevrolet Corvair Monza and Oldsmobile Jetfire were first turboed passenger cars

-removed because of reliability issues

-reduces environmental pollution

-70’s: formula 1 use and economy car, entering boost increased gas consumption and people were not fond of the ‘turbo lag’

-equal power compared to naturally aspirated v8 and much lighter


http://www.turbotechnics.com/turbo/turbofacts.htm

-Average egt for a diesel turbo is 800 degrees centigrade.

-Petrol engine egt is over 1000 degrees, glows bright yellow, and hot enough to melt a window

-New technology turbos rotate at 220,000 revs per minute while Boeing rotate at 7,000

-Air speed entering a turbo compressor impeller can reach speeds of mach 1

-At a normal rpm range, a turbo will take in over 130 cubic feet of air per minute, the same size as a transit van

-The ‘hot ends’ of the turbo’s turbine blades are made of a high nickel content alloy, the same material used in jet aircraft engines

-Turbine blades can easily achieve speeds of over 820mph, with air entering the turbo at supersonic speeds

-A turbo will spool from 20,000 revs to over 150,000 revs in under a second

http://www.turbodynamics.co.uk/technical/understanding-turbochargers/useful-and-important-facts/

-If the oil pressure on an engine is low, the turbo will be the first engine component to fail

-Most common contaminants found in oil are carbon deposits that are free floating and and by-products of combustion


http://www.micturbo.com/#!howturboswork/c1vw1

-allows engine to squeeze more air into cylinder

-spools thirty times faster than most car engines can go

-Relies on wasted energy to provide induction


http://www.turbofast.com.au/TurbochargerFactsAndMyths.html

-Turbo seals are made of steel, not rubber

-It is impossible to blow a seal

-Garrett ball bearing turbos have an internal oil restrictor


http://www.turbos.bwauto.com/products/turbochargerExhaustTemperature.aspx

-Housing composed of heat resistant cast steel


http://www.marinediesels.info/Turbocharging/turbocharger_principles.htm

-Blades are made out of a nickel chrome alloy or nimonic material

-nickel alloy contains: chrome, titanium, aluminum, molybdenum and tungsten

-maintains very good resistance to creep, fatigue, or corrosion

-Made using investment casting process

-Blade roots resemble fir tree shape to minimize stress and positive fixing


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oXMH9sp7LM



About the Author
Christian Sallade is a seventeen year old student attending Senior High School in Billings, Montana. He enjoys working on cars, snowboarding, skiing, rock climbing, slack-lining, and many other outdoor activities. He is currently taking physics, pre calculus, and chemistry. He plans on attending a German college in hopes of acquiring a degree in mechanical or automotive engineering. After receiving his degree, he plans on traveling the world for almost three straight years.
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