Superalloys are fantastic, metals are atrocious

Published on: 

Drew Robb


As superalloys featured heavily at this year’s Turbo Expo show, this column’s headline was just too good an opportunity to miss (for those in mystery, it’s a play on the Disney nonsense phrase in the song, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” from the movie, “Mary Poppins”). You can read all about superalloys in our Show Report along with material on turbine lifecycles, maintenance intervals, wet gas compression, boil-off gas, LNG and operating on fuel oil. As usual, the event was packed full of worthwhile content.

Our Cover Story on subsea compression also ventures into fascinating territory. We’re talkng about vast subsea factories operated remotely from ashore without the need for expensive surface platforms. A pipedream? Much progress has already been made and next year is predicted to be when the first subsea centrifugal compressor will go into operation. Until then, a steady wave of testing is ongoing on several fronts. Should that compressor work as planned, one engineer likened the achievement to being almost as signfiicant as sending a spaceship to Mars. But that is only the beginning. Statoil expects to have an entire subsea factory up and running by 2020.


Beyond that, we had a hard time finding room for all the excellent content on offer. You can read about such topics as continuous performance evaluation of centrifugal pumps, vibration analysis of large rotating machinery, pumps in subsea processing, methods of measuring predicting rotor stability and the commissioning of a power plant in Russia.

Our columnists continue to deliver the goods, too. Amin Almasi’s Turbo Tips piece is centered on renovation of LNG turbomachinery. Our Myth Busters column, on the other hand, tackles the peculiarities of factory testing and prompts users to ask, “What do I really need?”

We hope to meet many of you at the Turbo Symposium in Houston in late September. Come by our booth (#1606), let us know what you think of the magazine and be prepared to discuss topics you might like covered in future issues.

The New Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Staying with the Disney theme of this column, we came across a novel turbomachinery concept that bears some similarities to the flying car in the movie, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” It is an indicator that microturbines are going to be finding themselves into all sorts of interesting applications in the years to come. This remote controlled 32-lb, jet-powered dragon with a 9-ft wingspan can fly at up to 70 mph and belches propane-powered flame when on the ground. The microturbine built into the beast’s chest provides enough thrust for 10 minutes of flight. You can order it from or call 1-800-227-3528