Inside the Vortech Supercharger
The supercharger has proven to be one of the most effective means for obtaining increased power from an internal combustion engine without having to make major engine modifications. This is accomplished by compressing combustion air before it enters the cylinders, which increases density. This results in improved cylinder filling, allowing more air and fuel to be burned in the combustion cycle, with dramatic increases in torque and horsepower.
Vortech superchargers operate on fundamental and proven turbomachinery principles, first described by Euler's turbomachinery equation developed in the 18th Century. This principle states that the work imparted to a fluid by an impeller is related to the change in angular momentum of the fluid. From these humble beginnings, the centrifugal compressor has evolved and found its way to becoming the most efficient and reliable means for delivering charge air at high pressures. Vortech has seized upon these known performance advantages and has developed its line of centrifugal superchargers to a performance level that clearly establishes Vortech as the performance and technology leader in aftermarket supercharging.
Advanced Compressor Stage
Here's where the rubber meets the road. Vortech's compressor stages are highly evolved, thoroughly tested designs, resulting from more than 20 years of experience and thousands of production supercharger units. A simple visual examination clearly shows the difference. All Vortech compressors incorporate sophisticated impeller designs, coupled to a parallel wall diffuser, with a progressive scroll, or volute exit stage. Impellers employ advanced aerodynamic features such as optimized inducer blading, splitters, and in some cases, exit rake and backsweep... all depending on the particular pressure/flow objectives. Rather than a simple change of blower speed to effect different "models", each Vortech supercharger is optimized aerodynamically so that best performance is attained for a specific vehicle application.
In order to effectively take advantage of impeller work, flow must be efficiently diffused so that pressure rise can be generated with minimal losses. Unfortunately, a simple "cut-and-paste" won't work. Instead, the diffuser is optimally matched to the impeller flow physics, with many iterations tested and verified until maximum efficiency is achieved with each supercharger design. Finally, a matched volute effectively collects and diffuses further, resulting in additional pressure rise. The result? Isentropic efficiencies as high as 83%! In fact, all Vortech compressors achieve at least 72% peak efficiency, with better than 65% efficiency achieved over a majority of design flow range (surge to choke).
Vortech componentry has garnered a reputation for its "best in class" execution. Blower casing components are cast from A356 aircraft-spec aluminum alloy treated to T-6 condition. Modern CNC production cells ensure that part tolerances are held into the "tenths" (of a thousandth of an inch) - to, and in many cases beyond aircraft tolerances.
The heart of any centrifugal supercharger is the impeller. We make impellers from both investment cast and billet materials. Our investment castings are from an extremely strong but light-weight proprietary aluminum alloy (similar to that used in turbochargers). This special heat treated material is used because of its stability and enhanced properties at high operating temperatures - which may reach 400 degrees F under extreme conditions. At this temperature, the Vortech impeller is up to 36% stronger than even 7075, a common structural aluminum material used by others. The investment cast process secures close dimensional tolerance and excellent surface finish. Beyond this, our billet racing impellers are second to none. These are made from custom forged blanks of a proprietary metallurgical blend, that ensures exact tolerances. And finally, multi-plane dynamic balancing to better than ISO G0.4 tolerances delivers smooth operation. The historical use of these same procedures in building aircraft turbomachinery components for the most demanding applications proves its durability.
Drive gears are manufactured from 8620 and 9310 carburized billet alloy steels. These premium grade materials possess exceptional strength and durability, with enhanced core toughness properties. The gear teeth are CNC precision ground. The internal step-up drive system is engineered to reliably support impeller speeds exceeding 70,000 rpm.
Vortech bearings are ultra-high precision (ABEC 7/ABEC 9) pieces that originate from the best precision bearing manufacturers in the world. Most are custom manufactured to our specifications. Aircraft quality is truly an understatement here, since these bearings experience speeds as much as twice that of a jet engine.
Vortech offers both engine-oil-fed and internally lubricated superchargers. Our V-3 units are factory prefilled with our special synthetic fluid - so, no oil supply or drain lines are necessary. Our traditional oil-fed units make use of the host engine lubrication circuit, which may optionally be fine-filtered before introducing to the supercharger.