VIDEO: Blowin' Up Garrett Turbos
By Mike Kojima
No this is not a problem with Garrett turbochargers but an example of Garrett's suburb OEM level engineering. A turbo can spin at up to 250,000 rpm. That's right two hundred and fifty THOUSAND rpm. A turbo is also a powerful turbine machine that can generate over 100 hp in some applications. When you combine revs and stress you potentially have yourself a pretty mean food processor spinning in your car. You don't want it spinning through your car.
If things get out of hand, an exploding compressor or turbine wheel can be meaner than a ninja star thrown by the 6 million dollar man with his good hand. That's when Garrett's engineering comes in. They test every single one of their compressor and turbine housings to contain the worst case scenario, a full on explosion.
The housings on a Garrett turbo are designed to contain the explosion which can equal the damage potential of a hand grenade. Check out this video that our buddy Yukio Taira sent us from Garrett. Using ultra trick stroboscopic photography, you can see what happens in a few milliseconds a turbo explosion takes and just how violent the release of energy is. Grab your nads and be glad if you have a Garrett turbo that is deigned and tested to take it!