Billet compressor wheel has become a buzzword in turbocharging, but they are often misunderstood. In traditional turbochargers, the compressor impeller is cast from aluminum, but the material and manufacturing method have nothing to do with the flow or power which support the turbine.
The flow potential is related to the design and size of the compressor impeller, so it is possible to create the same compressor wheel design using casting or machining techniques. And if the design is the same, the flow potential of the wheels will be same -- there is no magic. Since there is no advantage, why are billet compressor wheels popping up everywhere? Well, we're not saying there are no advantages. The advantages are different from what the most people think.
Billet materials provide strength and reliability advantages, which are critical at high pressurization pressures. We can take advantage of the strength of materials in the manufacturing process. The stronger billet material allows the designer to remove material around the roll without weakening the wheel. Perhaps, using more aggressive blade profiles to gain airflow or efficiency advantages. In essence, the manufacturer is using the strength of the material to design and produce billet compressor wheels, in which case the billet compressor wheel can own the superiority.
Billet compressor wheel provides turbine manufacturers with greater flexibility to bring new compressor designs to market, especially for small volume production. The casting process is costly and time-consuming for small batches.By contrast, the billet compressor wheel design can be produced in small batches quickly. This is crucial in the prototyping process, allowing the manufacturer to test a variety of wheels and choose the best. We're not here to promote billet compressor wheel, as this technology has made some huge improvements in turbine performance over the years. But it's worth understanding what billet compressor wheels can offer and where the power potential comes from.
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