Laval, Carl Gustaf Patrik de

b. 9 May 1845 Orsa, Sweden
d. 2 February 1913 Stockholm, Sweden
Swedish inventor of an advanced cream separator and a steam turbine.
Gustaf de Laval was educated at the Stockholm Technical Institute and Uppsala University. He proved to have an unfailing vigour and variety in his inventive talent, for his interests ranged from electric lighting and electrometallurgy to aerodynamics. In the 1890s he employed over one hundred engineers to develop his inventions, but he was best known for two: the cream separator and a steam turbine. In 1877 he invented the high-speed centrifugal cream separator, which was probably the greatest advance in butter-making up to that time. By 1880 the separators were being successfully marketed all over the world, for they were quickly adopted in larger dairies where they effected enormous savings in labour and space. He followed this with various devices for the dairy industry, including a vacuum milking machine perfected in 1913. In c. 1882, de Laval invented a turbine on the principle of Hero's engine, but he quickly turned his attention to the impulse type, which was like Branca's, with a jet of steam impinging on a set of blades around the periphery of a wheel. He applied for a British patent in 1889. The steam was expanded in a single stage from the initial to the final pressure: to secure economy with the steam issuing at high velocity, the blades also had to rotate at high velocity. An early 5 hp (3.7 kW) turbine rotated at 30,000 rpm, so reduction gearing had to be introduced. Production started in Sweden in 1893 and in other countries at about the same time. In 1892 de Laval proposed employing one of his turbines of 15 hp (11 kW) in an experimental launch, but there is no evidence that it was ever actually installed in a vessel. However, his turbines were popular for powering electric generating sets for lighting textile mills and ships, and by 1900 were available in sizes up to 300 bhp (224 kW).
1889, British patent no. 7,143 (steam turbine).
Further Reading
T.Althin, 1943, Life of de Laval, Stockholm (a full biography).
T.I.Williams (ed.), 1969, A Biographical Dictionary of Scientists, London: A. \& C. Black (contains a brief biography).
R.M.Neilson, 1902, The Steam Turbine, London: Longmans, Green \& Co. (fully covers the development of de Laval's steam turbine).
H.W.Dickinson, 1938, A Short History of the Steam Engine, Cambridge University Press (contains a short account of the development of the steam turbine).
R.L.Hills, 1989, Power from Steam. A History of the Stationary Steam Engine, Cambridge University Press (contains a short account).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laval, Carl Gustaf Patrik de — born May 9, 1845, Blasenborg, Swed. died Feb. 2, 1913, Stockholm Swedish scientist, engineer, and inventor. Laval built his first impulse steam turbine in 1882. Further advances followed, including a reversible turbine for marine use. A Laval… …   Universalium

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  • Gustaf — [goos′täf] 1. Gustaf V 1858 1950; king of Sweden (1907 50): also called Gustav (or Gustavus) V 2. Gustaf VI (Adolf) or Gustav (or Gustavus) VI 1882 1973; king of Sweden (1950 73): also called Gustav (or Gustavus) VI or Gustav VI or Gustavus VI *… …   Universalium

  • Laval — Laval, Pierre C. de Canadá, en la prov. de Québec, al NO de Montreal, de la que forma un suburbio; 284 164 h. C. de Francia, cap. del departamento de Mayenne; 50 360 h. * * * (as used in expressions) Hoare Laval, pacto Laval, Carl Gustaf Patrik… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • carl — carlish, adj. carlishness, n. /kahrl/, n. 1. Scot. a. a strong, robust fellow, esp. a strong manual laborer. b. a miser; an extremely thrifty person. 2. Archaic. a churl. 3. Obs. a bondman. Also, carle. [bef. 1000 (in compounds; see HOUSECARL);… …   Universalium

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