Colleague and friend of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, William Froude contributed much to the engineering world, although his name is better known today than during his time. Amongst his many inventions was the hydraulic dynamometer in 1877, and developments of which are in constant use throughout the world today. It is probably true to say that Froude dynamometers have played an essential part in the development of practically all types of power unit, providing a means of proving design, assessing performance, and testing the efficiency of different fuels.
In simple terms, water is used in the Froude dynamometer to provide hydraulic resistance to the rotational input from the motor being tested and to dissipate the power in the form of heat. The main components of the hydraulic section are the rotor and the sluice gate, and in order to resist the effects of erosion and cavitation, the parts are cast in Langley Hiduron 130 bronze. This alloy possesses high tensile strength combined with good ductility and excellent resistance to corrosion and erosion. Its strength and hardness are unimpaired at temperatures of up to 400oC.
The illustrations show a rotor in Hiduron 130 (DIN 2.1504, DTD900/4805, Hidurax Special) as supplied to Heenan & Froude Ltd., and a ‘G’ type Froude dynamometer.
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