Axial Flow

>> Axial flow turbochargers are similar to gas turbines and are common in aircraft engines.

>> Axial flow compresses air into increasingly smaller spaces using a series of impeller or axial compressor fans.

>> Axial flow versions are better suited for aircraft because of their large size and heavy weight. Yet they are more efficient than centrifugal or radial turbochargers.

>> Newer axial flow turbos need no intercooler.


>> The radial or centrifugal turbocharger forces air into its intake system from an impeller using centrifugal force to push air out radially through a scroll pump, or centrifugal scroll, that expands in diameter to slow moving air but increases the pressure.

>> Centrifugal turbos produce low pressure at low rpm. Centrifugal turbochargers, like centrifugal superchargers, are compact and can free wheel when the engine requires no boost pressure.


> Radial turbochargers install easily in vehicle engine compartments because they are compact. Mounting a radial turbocharger away from the air intake allows installing an intercooler with the turbo.

> It uses less engine power. Radial turbochargers also use fewer parts than superchargers since there is no drive belt. Yet axial flow turbochargers are more efficient because the exhaust gas is forced directly against the entire turbine wheel while the radial version’s exhaust flows from the side of the wheel and then around the perimeter of the wheel.

> Axial flow turbochargers have air pressure ratios up to 3-to-1

> while radial versions produced since the 1950s have pressure ratios ranging from 1.5-to-1 to 1.7-to-1.

> Radial turbochargers typically cost less. Axial flow turbos are heavier and more expensive.


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