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Radial steam engine

Posted by SSsssteamer 
Radial steam engine
April 24, 2011 08:15PM
I was looking over this radial steam engine and I was wondering why it would have cooling fins on its cylinders? A steam engine piston cylinder should be insulated to keep it as hot as possible. This radial engine can be found at [www.youtube.com] There is also a radial 5 cylinder Halo steam engine on Youtube too, but they didn't have cooling fins on that one.
Re: Radial steam engine
April 25, 2011 11:46AM
April 25, 2011 Dear Pat, The only thing I can think of is they wanted it to look like a real airplane engine and with it being a model and all and probably only running on air it did not make much of a difference. For larger full size engines it makes sense to use a cylinder from an air cooled IC engine because the cylinders are individual. Then the fins should be machined off anyhow. The Halo engine appears to be a kit from the UK, actually just plans, and it uses push rods and rocker arms to bump a ball bearing off a seat. At least the valves will seal good. If the balls were from silica nitrite then they would not get flat spots pounded into them. The first radial 9 cylinder finned engine had some kind of a rocking action on the valve and the valve push rods were doing a lot of flying around like they were working from a crank throw on the crankshaft. The problem is that most of the information on steam engines comes from Youtube videos such as these and therefore people do not get good information on what a good steam engine design is or where to get one. It is my opinion that poor information is worse than no information. Tom Kimmel
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