Coolest low-tech marine steam engine ever!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SimpleSimon, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    This thing is utterly fabulous! Completely scratch built pottery/wood/goat skin steam engine for a small boat. Seriously, this is what you call THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX!
    Stove Engine Steam Yuloh

    Note the afterword, however. Whether this was actually built and used as claimed is questionable, but it appears at least possible.

  2. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    thats pretty cool... can you imagine where we could be if somebody had thought of this 3000 years ago?
  3. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    do you think you could put one of those together and have it be functional?
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    a cool idea there SS
    just waking up here with the thoughts of this simple engine and a cup of coffee
    I sure do appreciate this site
    thank you SS
    from -- MM
  5. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Well, maybe yes, maybe no. Ceramics are funny things. If the potter used very carefully seived clay to get all organics and debris out of the clay, and insured a near uniform particle size/mix, worked it carefully to avoid even tiny voids, it might function as a low-pressure boiler. The rest of the design is entirely workable.

    If a liquid slurry porcelain type clay were cast in a rotary mold (to remove air bubbles) it would certainly work, in terms of the strength of the materials. Say an 8 inch ID flash boiler cylinder, double acting, with an inch stroke. That would give you an acted upon surface area of ((3.1416 x (8 x 8)) x 8 = 1,608.5 square inches of surface under pressure. Since it is a double acting boile/cylinder, double that number for your total. Pressure drops as the piston moves away from the head face on each end, so let's say peak pressure on the head is 8 lbs/sq inch, dropping to 4 lbs per sq inch at full stroke. Since the pressure drop is (theoretically) a smooth curve, the cylinder head and its seat would require the most strength, with the total pressure load dropping as more cylinder wall is exposed with piston movement.

    In terms of durability, this design translated to metal would be very simple to construct, very light in weight, and very durable. If exhaust steam were utilized as a pre-heater for the incoming boiler load, the efficiency could be significantly increased, and the thermal stress on the head and cylinder walls greatly reduced.

    Now, lets say you lived along a navigable river like the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Columbia - any navigable river. Vessel draft, laden, could be quite low - on the order of 6 inches or less. So long as length and beam were relatively small - say 24 ft length, 4 foot beam, any flat bottomed scow type hull could navigate even very small rivers. Interesting ideas occur to me - they really do!