Exploding Boilers

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gaw
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Post by gaw » Fri. Jan. 24, 2020 1:23 pm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/steam- ... verywhere/

Note the date, this is a very old article but you may find it an interesting piece of history.

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Post by CoalHeat » Sat. Jan. 25, 2020 10:43 pm

Boiler explosions were a bit more common back in the "early" days!

 
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Post by franco b » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 9:23 am

1962 boiler explosion in NYC.

The burners using no. 6 oil were wired with three phase and a grounded wire kept the burners running even though the controls said stop. It led to a change on the code.
http://myinwood.net/the-telephone-company-explosion-of-1962/

 
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Post by Sunny Boy » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 9:40 am

Friend of mine was a ship's engineer in the days of high pressure steam pistons and turbines. Said that when they'd walk the cat walks in the engine room near the steam pipes they'd hold a broom out in front of them. High pressure steam leaks are invisible and powerful enough to cut a leg off before you knew they were there. With the noise of the engines you often couldn't hear the leak.

He said he also got a bad scare a few times. They'd have to watch the sight glass tube to see that there was enough water in the boilers. But when the ship would roll in rough storm seas, the water level would go up to the top, or all the way to the bottom of the tube, so it looked like it might be empty. You had to look often to see it in between rolls. Said he fell asleep one time and woke up and it looked like the tube was empty which means the boilers about to blow up. Then the ship leveled off and he could see water in the tube. But for a few seconds he was terrified. Said he had no trouble staying awake after that. :D

Paul

 
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Post by CoalHeat » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 10:21 pm


 
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Post by KLook » Mon. Jan. 27, 2020 9:46 pm

I had an old friend that was one of those guys Paul. Plus he was in Nam on river boats.....His Navy career was not a quite one....no wonder he drank.

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Post by LouNY » Tue. Jan. 28, 2020 6:38 am

Steam can be a bear at times.
High pressure steam is bad, when it gets real bad is when it becomes superheated
or dry steam. Most Turbines require dry steam water drops impinging on turbine blades at high speeds
are destructive, so steam is super heated so as to become dry steam.
Dry steam is the steam of stories of brooms and straws getting cut as it is the invisible steam.
Wet steam under full boiler pressure passes thru a heat exchanger usually the first pass in the boiler flues
to pick up more heat and become super heated or dry steam. That is the normal steam for a turbine,
before most other steam users it flows past a desuper heater which amounts to a nozzle feeding high pressure boiler feed water into the dry stream to make it saturated steam.
It's a fun process to keep steam production and super heat in the correct balance for a steam plant.

 
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Post by Sunny Boy » Tue. Jan. 28, 2020 9:51 am

During a tour of the engine room of the battleship U.S.S Massachusetts, the guide talked about super heated steam piped to the turbines. I seem to remember mention that it was about 800F degrees and being amazed. But I missed a lot of the talk because the wife was freaking out after the guide mentioning how far below the water line we were standing in the engine room. :roll:

Great day-long tour for anyone finding themselves in eastern Mass.


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Post by joethemechanic » Tue. Jan. 28, 2020 10:08 am

My friend's dad was a Merchant Marine in the 30's and 40's. He told us about the broom trick too

 
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Post by Lightning » Tue. Jan. 28, 2020 4:20 pm

Wow, this is quite a story. Collectively speaking, that locomotive boiler must have had several million pounds of pressure in it..

 
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Post by Pacowy » Tue. Jan. 28, 2020 4:22 pm

Sunny Boy wrote:
Tue. Jan. 28, 2020 9:51 am

Great day-long tour for anyone finding themselves in eastern Mass.
x2. My dad took me there when I was a kid, and I've taken my kids several times. My ex-FIL served on the Massachusetts, and he's on the crew list exhibit, which made it a little extra cool for the kids. Never took a tour, though, always "self-guided". Maybe it's worth going back one more time...

Mike

 
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Post by Sunny Boy » Thu. Jan. 30, 2020 10:14 am

Pacowy wrote:
Tue. Jan. 28, 2020 4:22 pm
x2. My dad took me there when I was a kid, and I've taken my kids several times. My ex-FIL served on the Massachusetts, and he's on the crew list exhibit, which made it a little extra cool for the kids. Never took a tour, though, always "self-guided". Maybe it's worth going back one more time...

Mike
Yes, well worth the trip. And, there's far more to see at Battleship Cove now than when I last went. WWII tin can, Sub and PT boat tours, and more. You could spend a full day there.

https://www.battleshipcove.org/ships-and-craft

Paul

 
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Post by NoSmoke » Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 4:22 pm

Boilers still blow up.

There was one a few weeks ago near Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. This one was at a hotel, and only about 1 year old too. My inlaws went past it the next day, and said it blew the back right off the building. No one was killed I guess, but the hotel is a total loss.

When I was welding boilers (as opposed to now going to college to operate boilers) they used to check high pressure steam with broomsticks. That was part of the training before a person could even step foot inside boilers, and that was in the 1990's.

In my maritime days though we never had boilers on any of the tug boats or ships that I was on. The tugs had locomotive engines, and the ships had jet engines...main propulsion and in the generator rooms. The Zumwalt Class though, they had jets, but they powered generators that powered electric drives.

 
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Post by NoSmoke » Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 4:30 pm

My instructor told us about a friend that asked him to build a homemade boiler and he said...NO WAY! So the guy built it himself. That was okay, except he put the relief valve outside so if it blew off, it would vent outside his home.

He came home and every window in his house had been blown out, and from basement to first floor, to roof, there was a hole about the size of a boiler. The relief valve had got condensation in it, then froze.

I saw a bunch of idiots on youtube who were selling plans to make a high pressure steam boiler with turbine to make home-power. I mentioned it was illegal to do, and they called me a "safety zealot".

Really? 100 pounds of steam means the boiling point of water is 338 degrees. If you lose feed water, or you lose pressure, the boiling point of water lowers instantly to 212 degrees, flashes to steam, and expands 1700 times...and I mean faster then you can read what I just wrote. And these idiots were selling plans to people who might not even know how to weld. They had a relief valve, but still...

These guys were supposedly licensed high pressure steam experts. What I wrote in bold is found on page TWO of my boiler book, word for word. PAGE TWO...steam is dangerous.

 
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Post by Lightning » Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 4:43 pm

Here is a thread about a wood boiler explosion just down the road from me a few years ago. I recently learned that the PRV was piped horizontally to the outside, apparently with a slight upward slope. It froze, along with the lines that went to the house. The pressure had no escape. It blew the corner of the garage completely off and pushed the walls outward at the foundation. Parts of the boiler vessel crossed the road and landed in a field.


I just noticed you commented on it 4 years ago lol.

Wood Boiler Explosion

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