Innovation is always at the forefront of the Turbomachinery Laboratory’s research projects. Dr. Adolfo Delgado and his team are paving the way for oil-free turbomachinery in the megawatt (MW) range.
The Turbomachinery Research Consortium is an exclusive member-based organization where industrial firms obtain facilitated access to research faculty experts, working together to solve business challenges in the turbomachinery industry. The $30,000 membership fee funds member-selected research projects, among other benefits.
One such project is Dr. Adolfo Delgado and his research team’s “Dynamic Characterization of Compliantly Damped Porous Gas Bearings”. An overview of the practical applications of this project is below:
This investigation aims to develop a gas bearing that utilizes porous carbon as a secondary gas delivery mechanism and contact-tolerant surface. The bearing design relies on multiple ports to develop a suitable gas film thickness while relying on porous surface gas delivery to handle rotor excursions and intermittent rubbing. A pair of these bearings will be tested as the main supports for a 100lb dummy turboexpander operating up to 30krpm. There is currently no machine in this size-class supported on process gas-lubricated bearings.
Dr. Adolfo Delgado, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Luis Garcia, Graduate Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering
Nicolas Bishop, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering
The project involves designing and testing a compliantly damped hybrid tilting gas bearing (CHGB) utilizing porous carbon, as well as developing a test rig and bearing support structure.
Their research will take 3 year(s) to complete. During the first year of the project, they completed the implementation of a mechanical mating between the porous material and pad support, as well as the design and fabrication of pads, compliant supports, compact dampers, housing, and a test rig for non-rotating dynamic characterization. Their current research is focused on redesigning the damper and characterizing the preload of the current design, as well as designing new springs for implementation.
“The main limitation preventing the implementation of gas bearings in MW-class machines is damping. The bearing needs to provide enough damping to cross critical speeds while maintaining acceptable vibration levels and ensure stable operation at high speeds,” Delgado states.
Upon joining TRC, you will receive immediate access to Texas A&M faculty expertise across a broad spectrum of turbomachinery problems, documented computer programs for reliability and performance, access to Turbomachinery Laboratory facilities for conducting specialized experimental research, early access to engineering careers entrants who participate in this program, and you are supporting turbomachinery-related educational programs in the Texas A&M College of Engineering.
If you or your company is interested in learning more or joining the Turbomachinery Research Consortium, contact the Program Director, Debbie Maggs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. New members are accepted at any time of the year, and are invited to participate in the annual meeting each June.
Author: Kristen Clayton
ABOUT TURBOMACHINERY LABORATORY
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Turbomachinery Laboratory makes a vital impact on turbomachinery and related industries through research, education, and professional workforce development. Visit turbolab.tamu.edu for more information.