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10/10/2016

Basicfeaturesofasteamlocomotive

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Section10Superheating

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The introduction of superheating was the single most important development for the steam locomotive.
Superheatingincreasesthepoweroutputofalocomotivebyupto25%,withequivalentsavingsincoalandwater,
overnonsuperheatedengines.Itswidespreadusefrom1910coincidedwiththeneedsfromtherailwayoperators
forheaviertrainstobehauledathigherspeeds.
Thefirstdesignforalocomotivesuperheaterwereputforwardin1850.Previousideasutilisedasteamdrying
processwhichraisedthetemperatureofthesteambyafewdegreestoovercomethemoisturewithinthesteam.
Contact with the metal surfaces of the pipes and cylinders cools the steam, resulting in the formation of water
droplets.Thisconditionalsocausesfrictionalresistanceinthemovementofthepistonsandafallinpressure.The
use of a superheater, however, was not advanced for another 50 years when, after developments in metallurgy
and lubricating oils capable of withstanding the severe cutting action of highly superheated steam, made
superheating a practical proposition. Success was achieved largely due to the work of Dr. Wilhelm Schmidt,
assisted by Dr. Robert Garbe, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Berlin division of the Prussian State Railways and
JeanBaptisteFlamme,ChiefMechanicalEngineeroftheBelgianRailways.
Steamgeneratedinaboilerisknownassaturatedsteamduetoahighmoisturecontentsinceitisincontact
withthewater.Inasuperheatedboiler,thissteamispassedthroughtheregulatorvalveandmainsteampipeto
the superheater header and into the superheater elements within the large flue tubes. This superheated steam is
thenreturnedtothesuperheaterheadertobesenttothecylinders.Themoisturethatwaspresentinthesaturated
steam is turned into additional steam and if its temperature is raised high enough, the steam approaches the
conditionofaperfectgas,progressivelyexpandingasmoreheatisabsorbed.

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LastModified:04/16/201310:19:43

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