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Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(12):24-29. doi:10.1115/1.2013-DEC-1.
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This article discusses various uses and benefits of hydraulic fracturing technology in the field of oil industry. Engineers continue to increase hydraulic fracturing efficiency by developing better multistage stimulation systems. These systems enable treatment of many intervals along a horizontal wellbore with a minimum number of pull-outs, or even in a single continuous operation. Many key advances in drilling and hydrofracturing have resulted from sophisticated modeling programs. Mechanical engineers play key roles in many aspects of hydrofracturing, especially the design of better down-hole tools, new materials, and improved numerical models. With the advances in modeling and real-time measurement, operators can deliver just the right type of fracking pressure, exactly where they want it, and repeat the process as needed, either in the same well, one that parallels it, or one that radiates out from the same central drill pad. The experts feel that if the world wishes to fully use its oil-and-gas resources, it will go hand-in-hand with hydraulic fracturing.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(12):30-35. doi:10.1115/1.2013-DEC-2.
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This article focuses on different opportunities and challenges posed by shale oil and gas reserves in Texas. Texas has about as many drilling rigs as the rest of the country combined. There are places in which the shale boom feels more like a stampede. Texans have long accommodated themselves to the oil industry and sought its upside. Over the years, the combination of high oil prices and the new application of hydraulic fracturing techniques to unlock shale gas and oil have led to resurgence. Fort Worth’s ordinance, regulating gas drilling inside the city, is widely seen as a success. Oil and gas operators evidently see the ordinance as a cooperative effort, since they generally abide by it and keep working with the city and residents to update it. As per expert’s view, the State has not put adequate emphasis on the rights of landowners.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(12):36-41. doi:10.1115/1.2013-DEC-3.
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This article presents a study of Pratt & Whitney’s J58, till date the best and high-powered engine for manufacturing lessons required for the development of F35 Joint Strike Fighter. The J58 Blackbird engine is a variable cycle engine, a turbojet/ramjet combined-cycle engine. It is a conventional afterburning turbojet for take-off and transonic flight, and it approximates a ramjet during high-speed supersonic cruise. The power plant for the Blackbirds is a marvelous development on the part of Pratt & Whitney, as it is the only engine of its kind in the world. The noise and vibration from a J58 test was so great that it could rattle the side-view mirror off nearby cars. The engine was developed at an isolated research center in Florida. At take-off and low-speed flight, the J58 engine/afterburner provides most of the thrust. Both of the Blackbird’s twin nacelles contain an engine supersonic inlet, the J58 engine with its afterburner, and an exhaust ejector nozzle. All three components contribute to the Blackbird’s propulsive thrust in varying proportions, depending on flight speed.

Topics: Engines , Flight , Thrust , Engineers
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(12):50-54. doi:10.1115/1.2013-DEC-4.
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This article focuses on various technical and functional aspects of detonation gas turbines. Detonation combustion involves a supersonic flow, with the chemical reaction front accelerating, driving a shock wave system in its advancement. In the 1990s, detonation-based power concepts began with pulse detonation engines (PDEs), and have now moved into the continuous detonation mode, termed rotating detonation engines (RDEs). Modern gas turbine combustors are compact, robust, tolerant of a wide variety of fuels, and provide the highest combustion intensities. The single-spool RDE gas turbine is represented by a detonation cycle, which accounts for the supersonic features of the heat addition, starting at station 2.5′. Continued research and development by the RDE technical community is needed to see if the promise of improved performance and downsized turbomachinery for a detonation cycle is real.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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