1997 John P. Davis Award: The Impact of Machining Techniques on Centrifugal Compressor Impeller Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
P. R. N. Childs

Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre, University of Sussex, Sussex, United Kingdom

M. B. Noronha

Turbocam, Inc., Dover, NH

J. Turbomach 121(4), 637-643 (Oct 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2836715 History: Received February 01, 1997; Online January 29, 2008


A large proportion of modern centrifugal impellers are machined from solid forgings rather than made from cast metal. The CNC milling process offers options to manufacturers to minimize manufacturing costs while also enhancing the performance of the impeller. Efficient manufacturing can result in cutter tool marks and paths and associated roughness remaining on the hub and blade surfaces of impellers as a result of minimizing passes and maximizing the cut. The goal of manufacturers is to allow these marks to be as deep as possible to minimize machining costs, but without any negative effects on performance, and possibly even enhancing it. There are existing modeling methods that predict the influence of roughness on compressor performance using the definition of an equivalent sand grain roughness. The purpose of this study is to relate the performance directly to the tool mark characteristics that are by-products of machining, namely cusp height, cutter path roughness, and orientation of the cutter path relative to the local flow velocity, to review the current modeling techniques for predicting the influence of surface condition on compressor performance and to show the scope for optimization of manufacturing and performance considerations.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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