Gustaf de Laval
name = Gustaf de Laval
caption = Gustaf de Laval
May 9 1845
birth_place = Orsa in
February 2 1913
nationality = Swedish
alma_mater = Institute of Technology in Stockholm
steam turbines and dairymachinery
Karl Gustaf Patrik de Laval (
May 9 1845- February 2 1913) was a Swedish engineer and inventor who made important contributions to the design of steam turbines and dairymachinery.
Karl Gustaf de Laval was born at Orsa in
Dalarna. He enrolled at the Institute of Technology in Stockholm (later the Royal Institute of Technology) in 1863, receiving a degree in mechanical engineering in 1866, after which he matriculated at Uppsala Universityin 1867, completing a doctorate in chemistry in 1872.
In 1887 he built a small steam turbine to demonstrate that such devices could be constructed on that scale, and in 1890 developed a
nozzleto increase the steam jet to supersonic speed, working off the kinetic energy of the steam, rather than its pressure. The nozzle, now known as a de Laval nozzle, is used in modern rocket engine nozzles. De Laval turbines can run at up to 30,000 rpm. The turbine wheel was mounted on a long flexible shaft, its two bearings spaced far apart on either side. Since the wheel could not be perfectly balanced, this allowed it to spin slightly out of true, without breaking the bearings. The higher speed of the turbine demanded that he also design new approaches to reduction gearing, which are still in use today.
Using high pressure steam in a turbine that had oil-fed bearings meant that some of the steam contaminated the lube-oil, and as a result, perfecting commercial steam-turbines required that he also develop an effective oil/water separator. After trying several methods, he concluded that a centrifugal separator was the most affordable and effective method. He developed several types, and their success established the centrifugal separator as a useful device in a variety of applications.
De Laval also made important contributions to the dairy industry, including the first centrifugal
milk-cream separator and early milking machines, the first of which he patented in 1894. It was not until after his death, however, that the company he founded marketed the first commercially practical milking machine, in 1918. Together with Oscar Lamm, de Laval founded the company Alfa Lavalin 1883, which was known as "AB Separator" until 1963 when the present name was introduced.
In 1991, Alfa Laval Agri, a company producing dairy and farming machinery was split from Alfa Laval when it was bought by the
Tetra PakGroup. When Alfa Laval was sold, Alfa Laval Agri remained a part of the Tetra Pak group and was renamed DeLaval, after the company's founder.
Gustaf de Laval is interred at
Norra begravningsplatsenin Stockholm, Sweden.
History of the internal combustion engine
* [http://www.alfalaval.com/ Alfa Laval] - Official site
* [http://www.delaval.com/ DeLaval] - Official site
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