High performance turbomachinery has outstanding features, such as high speed, high efficiency and low wear. It enables a range of new devices to emerge and serve multiple industries. It also extends mechanical engineering to a new domain and brings out some exciting benefits. The centre develops both high performance turbomachines and related critical technologies.

Dual mode air bearings

Air bearings enable rotors to rotate between 100,000 and 200,000 rpm conveniently. Different from the conventional air bearings which require constant supply of compressed air, the advanced dual mode air bearings developed in our research centre need minimum air supply or none, making them suitable for mobile machines, such as turbochargers and gas turbine engines.

Research in this field includes optimisation and biomimetic surfaces.
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The figure on the left is a CFD simulation of a conventional thrust air bearing. The figure on the right is a thrust bearing of the same dimensions but with a biomimetic surface, resulting in about 50% increase in lifting force

Rotor design and balance

We have developed technology and software for design of high speed rotors and balancing them.

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Numerical analysis of rotor deformation and vibration
Screen display showing the vibrations of a high speed rotor supported by air bearings. The speed was increased pass through first and second resonate frequencies, and the vibration amplitude is small

Advanced centrifugal compressor and radial turbine technology

Our research centre has advanced knowledge and tools for the design of centrifugal compressors and radial turbines to suit applications.

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Low emission and high efficiency gas turbine combustion

Design of microgas turbines