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Is there a particular difference? The way they're overhauled is the same ? (I mean do we use the same overhauling methods ?)

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The blades are shaped completely differently. Typically a centrifugal compressor is one solid piece that looks like a turbocharger and an axial compressor is a flat disk that looks like a fan with individually manufactured blades inserted, though axial compressor disks with integral blades "blisk" is starting to be used. Here are compressor pics that show how they are used:

Two stage radial/centrifugal compressor circled (with a three stage axial turbine following) enter image description here

Fifteen stage axial compressor enter image description here

A radial compressor can usually generate higher pressure in a single stage so it's usually simpler, while an axial compressor is easier to stack in multiple stages to get much higher pressure ratios.

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The main difference is in how they operate, vs how they are maintained. Flow through a centrifugal compressor is turned perpendicular to the axis of rotation, while air in an axial compressor flows parallel to the axis of rotation.

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Axial blades are airfoils that compress air by forcing it aft into a converging space via downwash the same as a wing generates lift by downwash. Efficient, but sensitive to angle of attack and aerodynamic stall, like a regular wing, so therefore sensitive to flow disruptions.

A centrifugal compressor is spinning duct that forces air into a converging space purely by centrifugal force imparted to air within it as it spins. Less efficient, but relatively insensitive to flow disruptions and way easier to make.

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  • $\begingroup$ Axial blades do not have to be airfoils. $\endgroup$
    – MikeB
    Dec 15, 2023 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ Do you know of a turbine engine with flat ones? $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Dec 15, 2023 at 20:12

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