About The Kahn Companies
Irving I. Kahn in 1945, The Kahn Companies have remained a family-owned
enterprise for two generations. After emigrating from Germany in 1938,
Kahn saw an opportunity to put his mathematics and physics background
to use. He developed an electronic speed-measuring device which later
evolved into a complete product line of electronic, hydraulic and
pneumatic test equipment for the aerospace industry. An entrepreneur
keenly interested in emerging technologies, Kahn was actively involved
in new product development until his retirement in 1980.
David Kahn, who took over management of The Kahn Companies after their
father's retirement, have inherited his interest in new technologies.
Graduates of Harvard Business School, they continue their father's
legacy of developing new products and making them commercially
feasible. Under their direction, The Kahn Companies switched to
computer aided design (CAD) in the mid 1980's. In the early 1990's, The
Kahn Companies introduced finite element analysis (FEA), rotor dynamics
analysis and other technical software programs in its engineering
department. This state-of-the-art capability, which is continuously
upgraded, provides The Kahn Companies with the technical tools
necessary to successfully compete in the high-technology environment of
the 21st century.
About Adsorptive Systems
The need for clean, dry gases for use in aerospace test equipment led to the development of adsorptive systems.
Introduced in the 1960s, Kahn adsorptive systems employ regenerative
desiccants to remove moisture or contaminants from process gases or
liquids. Adsorptive systems are used in a wide variety of chemical and
manufacturing processes. One of the more interesting applications of
Kahn adsorptive technology is a reprocessing system for the insulating
gas used in the world's most powerful particle accelerator at Sandia
National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By removing
contaminants, this reprocessing system saves time and money by enabling
Sandia to use the same sulfur hexafluoride gas over and over.
More Info: Adsorptive Systems
Particle Beam Accelerator at Sandia National
Laboratories. A Kahn adsorptive system is in use to continuously purify
sulfur hexafluoride (SF.) used as an insulating gas accelerator.
About Hydraulic Dynamometers
The development of hydraulic dynamometers
was another result of Kahn's involvement with aerospace test equipment.
Operating like centrifugal pumps, hydraulic dynamometers use water as a
medium for absorbing and measuring the power output of engines,
turbines and electric motors. Kahn hydraulic dynamometers are now used
in the aerospace, automotive and power generation industries for
development, production and post-overhaul performance testing of a wide
variety of prime movers.
Interesting applications include a large dynamometer used for
development and endurance testing of LM2500 marine gas turbines, which
power the U.S. Navy's DD 963 class destroyers. Commissioned in 1971,
this dynamometer was capable of absorbing 37,000 kW (50,000 hp) at
speeds up to 4500 rpm. With a dry weight of over 36,000 kg (80,000 lb),
it was the largest hydraulic dynamometer manufactured in the United
States up to that time. In contrast to conventional hydraulic
dynamometers, this unit was designed to provide virtually unlimited
service life due to its cavitation-free smooth disc power elements.
When it finally was replaced with a new and more powerful Kahn
dynamometer after 20 years of continuous service, it had logged over
27,000 operating hours with its original power elements.
Another notable application is a 7500 kW (10,000 hp) high-speed
dynamometer used for development testing of the T406 turboshaft engine
which is used as the power plant for the Osprey V22 tilt rotor
aircraft. In order to simulate actual flight conditions, the engine and
dynamometer are installed in a variable attitude test stand where they
are operated throughout all attitude positions, from horizontal to
More Info: Hydraulic Dynamometers
406-160 Hydraulic Dynamometer. 37,000 kW (50,000 hp) hydraulic
dynamometer used for testing LM2500
marine gas turbines. It accumulated over 27,000 operating hours with
its original power elements.
To measure the moisture content of gases passing through its adsorptive systems, Kahn developed an electrolytic hygrometer
in the early 1960's. Initially, these units were designed to measure
the moisture level of compressed air used on the DEWLINE (Defense Early
Warning Line) in northern Canada. Incorporating the latest
technologies, this product line has been continuously expanded and
today includes a wide range of moisture measurement instrumentation
equipped with ceramic, aluminum oxide and chilled mirror optical
A common application for the Kahn portable hygrometer is remote
monitoring of the water vapor content of natural gas pipelines. Water
is an undesirable additive which can contaminate natural gas and
corrode the pipeline. Kahn has supplied numerous moisture monitoring
systems which operate by telemetry to relay dewpoint data to central
For the U.S. Navy, Kahn has provided portable hygrometers to measure
the moisture content of dry nitrogen which serves as an insulating gas
surrounding the optics on submarine periscopes. Low dewpoint coupled
with little volume made this difficult application an interesting and
ultimately successful challenge.
More Info: Hygrometers
HygroPort Portable Hygrometer. The HygroPort Portable Hygrometer is a
lightweight, rugged battery-operated instrument intended for
portable measurements of moisture in compressed air or other process