How Does a Turbocharger Work?

Posted on October 10, 2018 James Williams How Does a Turbocharger Work?

“Turbo”. It sounds like some fake concept that Hollywood made up for the Fast and Furious franchise, but it’s not. It’s a real thing. “Turbo” is actually short for “turbocharger” a real engine component for cars. Turbochargers, in a nutshell, is a supercharger driven by a turbine powered by the engine’s exhaust gases.

Aircraft turbochargers make it so that an aircraft’s engine is able to work at the same capacity at higher elevations of around 18,000 ft. the same way that it would at sea level. At higher altitudes, because there is less air, the engine is no longer able to work at full capacity. The addition of a supercharger that compresses air allows the engine to go back to full capacity.

Turbochargers are made of two main parts, the turbine and the compressor. The turbine and the compressor are also made of two parts, a wheel and a housing for each. Generally, what happens is that exhaust gas is introduced to the system and guided by the turbine housing into the turbine wheel. The compressor wheel is connected to the turbine and turned by way of the forged steel shaft. The turning of the compressor wheel draws in air and compresses it. Air is passed to the compressor housing that converts the high-velocity, low-pressure air stream into a low-velocity, high-pressure stream, and then the air is pushed into the engine, forcing it to burn more fuel to produce more power.
Turbochargers are fascinating. They’re a feat of engineering that goes unnoticed by the average person. And perhaps that’s a good sign. People feel safe and secure flying and knowing that airliners are using quality parts to repair and maintain their aircraft engines to fly people hundreds of miles at altitudes of 18,000 ft. Here at Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are the premier supplier of aerospace and aviation parts. Whether it’s a part for a turbocharged diesel engine or for a traditionally aspirated gasoline engine, we have it all. If you would like more information or to request a quote for a part, you can call us at +1-412-212-0606 or email us at

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