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Engineering Expert Witness Blog

Published by Philip J. O'Keefe, PE, MLE

Last Build Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 18:19:27 +0000


A Centrifugal Pump’s Curved Features are Key to Functionality

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 18:17:33 +0000

Even a casual glance at a centrifugal pump will disclose its many curved features. As the illustration shows, both the housing and internal impeller blades, are curved.

Centrifugal Pumps Can Create Vacuums

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:39:29 +0000

Just as in our experiment, if pressure is lowered to 0.23 PSI, water present at the pump inlet will boil at 59ºF, causing thousands of tiny steam bubbles to form and the pump to cavitate.

How Decreasing Pressure Contributes to Cavitation

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 21:17:34 +0000

Cavitation can occur without a heat source. In our pot example, we can start the cavitation process by simply decreasing the pressure of the air resting on top of the water, thereby also decreasing the water’s pressure.

Thermodynamic Properties of Water and Cavitation

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 21:59:58 +0000

To understand how cavitation comes into play, we’ll explore a branch of engineering known as thermodynamics.

Boiler Feed Pumps Experience Cavitation

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 22:14:58 +0000

    Shortly after I graduated with my engineering degree I worked as a power plant engineer at an electric utility.   One day I was walking through the plant and heard a loud racket coming from the boiler feel pumps.   These are the massive centrifugal pumps that deliver pressurized water to the boiler.   The water is […]

Do Time Machines Use Flywheels?

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 22:17:51 +0000

    The New Year is upon us, which makes me think about time travel and H. G. Wells’ time machine, and that makes me think about flywheels.   We’ve been talking about crankshafts and flywheels in our just-ended blog series, and when I look at this image of Wells’ famous time traveling device, I can’t help […]

Reciprocating Engines Maximize Efficiency When They Employ Flywheels

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 22:15:27 +0000

   Last time we had a look inside a marvelous piece of engineering machinery known as a crankshaft.   It plays a key role in converting the reciprocating linear motion of a steam driven engine into the rotary motion required to power externally mounted devices that are attached to it.   Today we’ll finish up our blog series […]

A Crankshaft in Motion

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:25:59 +0000

    Last time, we learned that a crankshaft is an engineering device which converts the reciprocating linear motion of an engine’s back-and-forth moving piston into the rotary motion that powers externally attached machinery.   Its movement is shown here,   A Crankshaft in Motion         We’ll see how a crankshaft and piston’s motion benefits by […]

A Look Inside a Reciprocating Steam Engine

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 22:19:03 +0000

A reciprocating steam engine performs the work of transforming steam’s heat energy into the mechanical energy needed to move a piston contained within a cylinder.

Horsepower Required to Accelerate a Flywheel

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:37:30 +0000

During acceleration torque is created, which contributes to the production of kinetic energy that’s stored inside the flywheel.