Metal fatigue can have serious, or even deadly consequences. But sometimes it’s the more absurd stories of failure that best illustrate this mechanical menace.
An unexpected release of farmed Atlantic salmon is causing big problems in the Pacific Northwest.
Take the recent incident involving a failed salmon farm enclosure in Washington state. Authorities estimate that as many as 162,000 Atlantic Salmon escaped into the waters around Puget Sound after their fatigued enclosure failed during high tides.
The suspect pen had previously been identified as structurally deficient, with the owners applying for a permit from the Washington Department of Natural Resources to replace the aging structure.
From the permit: “The current condition of the existing pen structure can be described as used and nearing the end of serviceable life… Steel net pen systems located in the marine environment are subject to the corrosive effects of salt water and to metal fatigue from the constant wave energy, storm events, and the extreme forces that are exerted on them from tidal current. The corrosion on the metal walkway grating and substructures is accelerating and some metal hinge joints show signs of excess wear.”Continue reading →
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Engineers from ZAL and Airbus get a look at their new laser peening equipment.
LSPT welcomed visitors from Germany this week in advance of our next laser peening equipment installation. Representatives from the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research and Airbus (one of the major ZAL shareholders) traveled from Hamburg, Germany to Dublin, Ohio for a firsthand look at their Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System.
The visit was structured around a system performance test at LSPT’s facility, and it represents a key milestone in the manufacture and delivery of the state-of-the-art laser peening equipment.
ZAL (Zentrum für Angewandte Luftfahrtforschung) is a unique innovation hub located within the world-renowned Hamburg Aviation Cluster. The ZAL TechCenter hosts cutting-edge aerospace research infrastructure, providing an open innovation environment to develop emerging technologies. Continue reading →
Most aircraft are powered by some form of air-breathing jet engine. These engine systems draw in air that is compressed, combusted, and expelled to produce thrust. The thrust may come from high-pressure exhaust, or from rotating turbine blades that drive external components.
Gas Turbine Engines
The most common aircraft engine designs are gas turbines. Gas turbine engines suck in air that is mixed with fuel and ignited to produce hot, expanding gas. The energy of the expanding gas is used to power a turbine – a wheel of airfoils or blades that spins around an axle to drive engine components like propellers and fans. There are several variations of gas turbine engines used in modern aircraft, all powered by spinning blades and burning air.
Turbofan: Turbofan engines are the most common for commercial jetliners, as they offer substantial thrust and high fuel efficiency. These engines are easily identifiable by the large fan at the front, used to draw in massive volumes of air.
(Fun fact: During takeoff, the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 turbofan engine takes in over one ton of air per second.)
Some of this intake air is channeled into the engine core for combustion, while some is diverted around the combustor to be expelled directly from the nozzle. Turbofan engines can be classified into two variants based on the ratio of bypassed air. High-bypass engines divert most of the air around the combustor to be expelled directly from the nozzle as thrust-producing exhaust. Low-bypass turbofans channel more intake air through the various engine stages, producing greater thrust via combustion but also consuming more fuel. Continue reading →