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Barber-Nichols Inc. (BNI) is located in Arvada, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. It was founded in 1966 by Bob Barber and Ken Nichols. BNI specializes in the design and production of turbomachinery; products include compressors, fans, pumps, turbines, generators, motors, and controllers for aerospace, cryogenic, defense, and energy applications. In addition to specialty hardware, BNI also provides engineering consulting and contract manufacturing.
Since inception, Barber-Nichols has been combining innovation with technical expertise to solve problems in a growing array of diverse markets. BNI's first project was the testing of a low-speed, two-stage steam turbine for the U.S. Navy's Applied Research Laboratory. To this day, Turbine Development continues to be a Barber-Nichols specialty. Next, BNI designed and built an extremely quiet, 10 kW, portable power generation system for the U.S. Army. This power system was based on the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), and would become a cornerstone technology at Barber-Nichols. It is still used to harness industrial waste heat and turn it into Electrical Power.
In 1974, BNI designed and built its first Cryogenic Pump for the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology). This project introduced Barber-Nichols to the cryogenics industry and BNI has been building the world's best cryogenic blowers, circulators, compressors, and pumps ever since. More recently, Barber-Nichols entered the space launch industry in 1996. BNI teamed with NASA to design and build the Turbopump for the Fastrac Engine. The Space Shuttle's Main Engine was developed in the late 1970s and since that time only a handful of turbopump fed rocket engines have been built in the United States. Barber-Nichols participated in the designing and manufacturing of four, and is rapidly becoming the world's premier developer of this technology.
On August 19, 1985 Bob Barber set the land speed record for a steam powered car. The vehicle was designed and built at Barber-Nichols and traveled at 234.33 km/h (145.607 mph). The vehicle is currently displayed in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV.
Thank you for your interest in Barber-Nichols. We hope to have an opportunity to work with you on your next project.