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Development of Advanced Model of

Turbocharger for Automotive Engines
Nobuyuki Ikeya, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Ken Mitsubori, and Nobuhiro Kondoh
Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

The Engineering Society
Advancing Mobility
and Sea Air and Space,

International Congress & Exposition

Detroit, Michigan
February 24-28,1992

4 0 0 C O M M O N W E A L T H D R I V E , W A R R E N D A L E , P A 1 5 0 9 6 - 0 0 0 1 U.S.A.

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Development of Advanced Model of

Turbocharger for Automotive Engines
Nobuyuki Ikeya, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Ken Mitsubori, and Nobuhiro Kondoh
Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

N = rotational speed
Ns = specific speed

Many kinds of turbochargers have been mounted to
engines for automotive use. Now, conventional, wastegated,
variable geometry turbocharger and many systems are
available. These turbocharged engines have many
advantages, such as a high specific output power and good
efficiency. Diesel engines are more suitable to turbocharging
than spark ignition engines. But recently for a growing
interest in acid rain and green house effect problems,
regulations of engine exhaust gas emission have been
tightened in Japan, USA and Europe. NOx and particulate
matter from automotive engines must be reduced. In the
USA, transient response of boost pressure has been important also for the EPA transient test mode. To cope with
these regulations, diesel engine manufacturers demand
turbocharger makers to provide far higher boost pressure
than ever to supply more air to engines to improve combustion process. The requirements for turbocharger performance
are wide operating range, high efficiency, and high specificspeed. Additionally, high pressure ratio also becomes
To satisfy these requirements, the new type of turbocharger series has been developed.
A compressor impeller for high pressure ratio was
developed by reducing the impeller exit angle and increasing
number of impeller blades. Air flow capacity of this new
impeller was greater than conventional impeller by twenty
percent at the same impeller tip diameter. Further, the rig
test confirmed the reliability for low cycle fatigue life.
A mixed-flow turbine of small-diameter, light-weight
and large swallowing-capacity was also developed. Stress
analysis was proceeded on this new turbine impeller and
G = mass flow rate
g = gravity constant
Had = adiabatic head


m = meridional distance or camber line distance

Mu, = peripheral speed Mach number
p = pressure
Q = volume flow rate at compressor
inlet or turbine outlet
T = temperature
y = peripheral speed
d s
W = relative velocity
d s
q = efficiency
n = pressure ratio
o = stress
1 =inlet
2 = outlet
m =mean
p = pressure side
s = suction side
8 = circumferential component
* = ratio to basic condition

Many kinds of turbochargers have been mounted to
spark ignition and diesel engines for automotive use.
Turbochargers have been used to increase the specific
output power and to reduce the specific fuel consumption
for long time. On the other hand, as smog in the big city,
acid rain in the Northern hemisphere and green house effect
are interested in, exhaust gas emission fiom automotive
engines is going to be reduced. In many countries, exhaust
gas emission from spark ignition engines had been restricted
by some regulations about ten years ago. But in case of

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0. 5

1. 0

Volume flow ratio


Fig.1 Requirements for the compressor pressure ratio

and flow range
diesel engines, regulations are now going to be tightened.
For these regulations, it is the most important and difficult
point that NOx and particulate matter must be reduced to
less than half of current level simultaneously. For this point,
turbocharging with an air cooler is thought to be one of the
advantageous system.
Diesel engine manufactures require more air to improve
the combustion process for keeping the specific power. For
this purpose, turbochargers must give higher pressure
charged air to engines. In Japan, pressure ratio of conventional turbocharger for truck engines is about 2.5 to 2.8, but
now from 2.8 to 3.0 is required. In future, 3.3 to 3.5 is
thought to be necessary for severer exhaust gas regulations.
Fig.1 shows changes of requirements for the compressor
pressure ratio and flow range. Further, recent exhaust gas
regulations request to consider the operation under transient
conditions, so requirement of good response of boost
pressure is also important too.
Automotive engines are operated under wide ranges of
engine speed and load conditions. Then turbochargers must
have wide operating range and high efficiency over such
operating range. Additionally operation of engines under
large air fuel ratio for low exhaust emission requires high
turbocharger total efficiency. Because in case of such
applications, temperature at turbine inlet has tendency to be
lower than conventional engine and expansion ratio of
turbine becomes higher. On the other hand this tendency is
affected reversely by the countermeasures for reduction of
emission such as retard of fuel injection timing or exhaust
gas recirculation (EGR). Anyway high total efficiency can
reduce the pressure at turbine inlet and improve the engine
pumping loss.

On the other hand, requirements to turbochargers are not

only to give the high engine performance but also to have
high reliability, durability and low cost as parts for automotive engines. The required performance of turbocharger is as
(1) wide operating range
(2) high pressure ratio
(3) high efficiency
(4) suitable boost pressure characteristics for automotive
engine system
(5) quick response to engine operation variation
(6) compactness and large volume flow capacity (high
(7) high reliability
(8) low cost
Some charging system, such as variable geometry
turbine, two stage turbocharging and hybrid charging system
that has a turbocharger and mechanical driven supercharger(1)(2)', have been considered to reduce the exhaust
emission. But they require much cost and space to install on
engine. Therefore we discuss about improvement of the
ordinary turbochargers, especially in focus of design
methods of pressure ratio of 2.8 to 3.0 compressor and

several ways to get high pressure ratio of compressor. They
are as follows:
(1) increase of impeller peripheral speed
(2) reduction of impeller exit angle
(3) increase of number of impeller blades
Turbochargers for racing car can generate high pressure
ratio (e.g., 4.0) for extra high output power. But those
compressors are used under almost the high level limit of
peripheral speed of the impeller for automotive turbochargers. High peripheral speed produces the high level
centrifugal stress of impeller. The impeller for automotive
turbochargers is usually made of aluminum casting. The life
of trucks, which use mainly diesel engines, has been
elongated steadily to over one million kilometers and the
impellers have been used almost at the limit of durability.
Further with high peripheral speed, relative Mach number at
impeller inlet increases and shock wave loss also increases.
Therefore attempt to make high pressure ratio without
increase of peripheral speed was studied.
Since increase of impeller exit angle (large back swept
angle) makes flow range wider, it has been gradually
applied and now 30 to 40 degree is usually used. But this
method reduces pressure ratio at the same impeller peripheral speed. For automotive applications, turbochargers must
have enough flow range to satisfy the requirement of
'Numbers in parentheses designate references at the
end of the paper.

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engines, so the angle of impeller exit must be considered

these trade off relation and selected carefully. Fig.2 shows
test results of such variation of compressor performance
with impeller exit angle. The diameters of compressor
wheels are all the same 82 mm.
Increasing the number of impeller blades reduces throat
area of impeller inlet and reduces air flow rate as a result.
To recover air flow rate, inlet blade height and angle have
to be modified. But when the inlet blade height is increased,
the relative Mach number at impeller inlet enlarges and
accompanied shock wave loss will be generated. Further the
stress at inducer blade root or impeller disk increases. Then,
these trade off relation must be considered, too. Fig.3
shows relation between the number of blade and choke flow
of the developed impellers. This chart shows the maximum
efficiency at 12 blades. When number of blades is increased





Number of impeller Mades

Fig.3 Effect of number of impeller blades on

compressor efficiency and choke flow ratio

M u 2 :peripheral s eed

rnach numb&





Number of inpeller blades

Fig.4 Effect of number of impeller blades on

circumferential stress at disc bore

0. 0

0. 6

Volume flow ratio

1. 0


Fig.2 Effect of impeller exit angle on compressor

over 12, choke flow ratio decrease rapidly. Fig.4 shows the
number of impeller blades and maximum circumferential
stress at disc bore. Stress increases as the number of
impeller blade increases.
The proper means must be selected in each case because
of high pressure ratio cannot be gotten with only one
method. Understanding of flow phenomena in the impeller
is necessary in selection of these parameters. Therefore, we
measured the flow pattern in impellers with laser 2 focuses
velocimeter(l2F) and calculated 3 dimensional flow analyses. L2F was used to measure the velocity distribution at
impeller inducer portion. An example of 3 dimensional flow
analyses(3) is shown in fig.5. It shows the flow of mid pitch
of high pressure ratio compressor impeller. Smooth flow
turn from axial direction to radial direction is observed, but

a) Velocity vector

b) Pressure contour

Fig.5 Predicted flow of meridional plane

in this case a little pressure reduction part is shown at
impeller inlet shroud side. These analyses were used to
select the appropriate blade shape.
the basis of those studies, high pressure ratio compressor
impeller was designed. Velocity triangles of impeller inlet
and exit were studied at first and the impeller blade angle

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a) Impeller blade and disc

Fig.6 Comparison of impeller meridional shape

b) Impeller back surface

Fig.9 Result of impeller stress analysis

new imDeller

0. 0

0. 2


0. 4

0. 6

M e r i d i o n a l d i s t a n c e ratio

0. 8


1. 0

Fig.7 Comparison of relative velocity distribution

Maximum circumferential

--------Fig.8 Impeller hub

circumferential stress




was selected. Next, meridional configuration and blade

shape were selected and the velocity distribution of the
impeller was analyzed. These process were repeated and the
most appropriate impeller shape was selected for requested
specification. Fig.6 shows the meridional shape of the
developed new impeller and conventional one(4). Fig.7

shows the analyzed relative velocity distribution of the new

impeller. Considering the trade off condition between inlet
blade angle and height, such a shape was selected as relative
Mach number at shroud inlet become low. The exit blade
angle of new impeller was reduced more to produce high
pressure ratio than that of the conventional high-specific
speed one. But it reduced the camber line length of blade
and leaded to the increase of difference of relative velocity
across the blade. It means the increase of blade load. To
compensate this reduction and to reduce the blade load, the
axial direction blade length of impeller was elongated. It
resulted in moderate reduction of relative velocity of
impeller from inlet to exit and appropriate blade load, as
This impeller is also necessary to keep
shown in fig.7.
sufficient reliability. When axial length of impeller is
elongated, hub line comes outward and it makes problem of
high circumferential stress at the disc bore. The result of
stress analysis in case of dotted line shape of fig.8 shows
about 3 percent higher circumferential stress than in case of
solid line shape. To solve these problems and satisfy turbocharger criteria, stress analyses were repeated and finally
blade shape including blade thickness and disc configuration
was decided. Fig.9 shows results of the stress analysis result
of the new impeller. The maximum stress level was kept the
same level of conventional impeller. The maximum stress of
calculation result was about 280 MPa.
On the other hand it is well known that the low cycle
fatigue life of the aluminum casting compressor impeller is
rapidly shortened by the increase of pressure ratio. Therefore, besides the stress analyses, the low cycle fatigue tests
were carried out on the test rig. It proved the longer life of
the new impeller than that of conventional impeller. On the
results of these analyses and tests, when the speed distribution map of a turbocharger in field application is given, the
fatigue life of the compressor impeller can be estimated.
IMPELLER-High pressure ratio compressors of turbochargers for automotive use were developed. The developed
impellers have 82 mm tip diameter, 12 blades and combined

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0. 0

0. 5

1. 0

V o l u m e flow ratio


Fig.10 Performance of developed compressor

with vaneless diffuser and compact scroll to keep wide
operation range. These compressors were driven by radialinflow or mixed-flow turbine on turbocharger test stand.
Fig.10 shows the performance of these compressors.
Maximum efficiency (q) of this compressor is 80 percent
is 3.4 at Mu2 = 1.5,
and maximum pressure ratio (JT)

TURBINE DESIGN AND RELIABILITY TESTSAutomotive engines are operated various engine speed and
load conditions. Then turbochargers are required to have
wide flow range and good efficiency. Further, for appropriate flow characteristic of turbine is very important. In other
conventional model
ut = 434m/s

compressor side

0. 2 5



Air flow rate

0. 4 0

Fig.11 Relation of air flow rate and rotational inertia

words, a turbine that makes higher boost pressure at low

engine speed range is required.
There are strong requirements from engine manufactures
to turbochargers vendors such as small, light-weight and
high boost pressure. Reduction of the number of parts and
the thickness of casing wall is useful to reduce size and
weight. But the use of a small diameter, light weight, large
swallowing capacity (high specific speed) turbine is most
The use of a small turbine rotor decreases the rotational
inertia and can improve the response of acceleration. Further
it is beneficial to install the turbocharger on automotive
engines that have usually not enough space. Fig.11 shows
the relation of air flow capacity and rotational inertia
moment of some conventional and new developed rotational
parts. Air flow capacity is defined at the same peripheral
speed and pressure ratio of compressor. However reducing
the size of rotating parts brings about many aerodynamic
and mechanical problems.
Many investigations into high performance, high
specific-speed, high pressure ratio radial-inflow turbines
have been carried out. As the turbine gas flow has been
increasing steadily with high specific output power of
engine, the radial-inflow turbines are operated at extremely
high specific speeds. Performance of turbine has become
severely penalized by excessive leaving loss at the rotor exit
and poor rotor internal flow.
To improve turbine efficiency at high specific-speed,
mixed-flow turbines were designed, assembled and tested(5). And the mixed-flow type seems advantageous for
large swallowing-capacity turbine. But the application of
the mixed-flow turbine had some difficult problems to be
solved in performance and structural strength.
In case of the mixed-flow turbine, the velocity triangle
at the blade inlet changes between the shroud side and hub
side because of the difference diameter. In other words, it
means that the direction of relative velocity to the turbine
blade changes at each point of turbine inlet. Many
aerodynamic analyses were carried out and the adequate
incidence angle was selected.
Fig.12 shows profiles of radial-inflow turbine blade and
of the newly developed mixed-flow turbine along the
meridional plane. The newly developed turbine has a
slightly greater axial length. The optimum camber line was
investigated and the number of blades was selected carefully. In addition, the geometry of the flow passage at the rotor
inlet was optimized by many tests.
Reliability analyses and tests were also performed on
the turbine side. The points sf the peak circumferential
stress of the turbine wheel exist at the core of the disc and
the trailing edge of the blade. To keep the stress level of the
mixed-flow turbine wheel less than that of conventional
radial-inflow turbine wheel, the disc shape and the
distribution of the blade thickness were decided. Fig.13 and
fig.14 show the results of numerical stress and vibration
analysis respectively. ' h e maximum stress of calculation

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Fig.12 Comparison of meridional shape of radialinflow turbine and mixed-flow turbine

Fig.15 Photograph of developed mixed-flow turbine

and radial-inflow turbine

'Maximum circumferential stress

Fig.13 Results of stress analysis

Fig.16 Result of thermal stress analysis of turbine


a) Fundamental mode

b) Second mode

Fig.14 Result of vibration analysis

result was about 330 MPa. The natural frequency for the
fundamental mode was higher than the fifth order of the
exciting frequency of the turbocharger speed at the
maximum continuous rating condition. And the edge points
of nodal lines for the fundamental mode and the second
mode did not coincide with each other, nor the peak point
of the circumferential stress. Fig.15 shows photograph of the
developed mixed-flow turbine rotor.
Usually the twin flow type turbine housing has
advantageous for improvement of the boost pressure at low
engine speed range. Because it uses the exhaust gas
pulsation more effectively than single entry type turbine
housing. But in case of this type housing, thermal stress at
the partition wall must be reduced. Because such
countermeasures as retard of fuel injection timing and EGR

for reduction of exhaust gas emission make the temperature

at turbine inlet higher. The new designed housing can
reduce the thermal stress level by 25 percent than
conventional housing(6). Fig.16 shows the result of stress
performance of the high specific speed mixed-flow turbines
was measured on the test rig. Several types of turbine wheel
and scrolls were combined and tested. Fig.17 shows the
performance of mixed-flow turbine and conventional
radial-inflow turbine with the same outer diameter. The test
results show that the mixed-flow model has 14 percent
greater mass flow rate and 8 percent greater efficiency than
the high specific speed radial-inflow turbine. Especially at
high pressure ratio, the improvement of turbine efficiency is
large. Through this development, mixed-flow turbines were
added to the turbocharger series. Fig.18 shows the cross
section of the turbocharger that applies the newly developed
mixed-flow turbine.

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ra I I inflow

mtx d flow





Flow parameter ratlo




Fig.17 Performance of developed turbine

Fig.18 Sectional view of turbocharger that adopts new

developed compressor and turbine

A high pressure ratio turbocharger for automotives was
developed. Compressor and turbine shape were decided
through many numerical simulations and experiments. The
compressor has high pressure ratio with high efficiency and
sufficient flow range. Turbine also has large volume flow
capacity with compact size and small rotational inertia.
Further stress level of these compressor and turbine are the
same as conventional compressor impeller and turbine wheel
respectively. These compressor and turbine were assembled
in a compact casing and tested on engine. This turbocharger
is expected to extract good engine performances.
In the future, exhaust gas regulations for automotive
engines are going to be tightened and much higher pressure
ratio will be required to automotive turbochargers. So we
will continue further efforts for' development of high
pressure ratio compressor and turbine for automotive
turbochargers on the basis of this research.

(1) Tomita, T., "Hybrid Charging System for Heavy Duty

Diesel Engines" SAE-910419, 1991
(2) Ikeya, N., "Variable Geometry Turbocharging with
Electronic Control" SAE-890645, 1989
(3) Denton, J., D., "An Improved Time Marching Method
for Turbomachinery Flow Calculation" ASME 82-GT-239,
(4) Saito, M., "Development of High Specific Speed
Centrifugal Compressors for Turbochargers" 83-TOKYOIGTC-71, 1982
(5) Ohkuwa, T., "Development of Mixed-flow Turbines for
Turbochargers" Proceedings of the 3rd Japan-China Joint
Conference on Fluid Machinery, 1990
(6) Koike, T., "Improvement of Turbocharger Life for
Diesel and Gasoline Engines" SAE-880563, 1988