Titanic's Reciprocating Engines

ethan oliver

ethan oliver

Member
Most photo's - if not all of them - of Olympic class reciprocating engines show them in the engine works in Belfast during test assembly and do not show them with the cylinders lagged for insulation. While it wasn't my intention originally to add this element to my build, I think it's interesting to see the difference the lagging casing makes to the appearance, so in these images I've added them to the Low Pressure Cylinders. Regarding colour, my understanding is that the casings were painted steel/light grey, possibly backed up by the Britannic's specification book. However, it has been suggested to me that they may have been painted red, similar to those on the Jeremiah O'Brien. So I'm showing them in both here. Opinions/thoughts welcome...
i dont think it would be red
i have looked at many over pictures of harland and wolff ships and most of the piston cover does not look red
even in black and white the red would show up as dark but on the mentioned pictures they all look like a light grey colour
so it was probably light grey
 
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Cian O'Reilly

Cian O'Reilly

Member
i dont think it would be red
i have looked at many over pictures of harland and wolff ships and most of the piston cover does not look red
even in black and white the red would show up as dark but on the mentioned pictures they all look like a light grey colour
so it was probably light grey
Ethan, yes, I think grey is the correct colour. While I don't have the images to hand I have seen images from the wreck which appear to show remnants of the insulation casing . Where paint remains it is grey. This matches with images of other White Star ships which - while they are black and white - show a light colour applied to the cylinder jackets. In addion, IIRC the spec book for the Britannic's engines indicate light grey...
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
At Kempton Steam Museum where there are two triple expansion engines both the same. The working one is fully lagged insulated with Rockwell wool now, as before was asbestos. As for the other engine all the asbestos has been removed and shields coving to. Where as now on a guided tour of the engine can be see what lies behind the insulation. The engine paint colour is green.
 
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Matthew Ricchezza

Member
Ethan, yes, I think grey is the correct colour. While I don't have the images to hand I have seen images from the wreck which appear to show remnants of the insulation casing . Where paint remains it is grey. This matches with images of other White Star ships which - while they are black and white - show a light colour applied to the cylinder jackets. In addion, IIRC the spec book for the Britannic's engines indicate light grey...
Cian, have you considered that the cylinders may have been jacketed with a planished iron/Russia sheet iron? With brass banding to secure the jacket? That is the treatment on the cylinders on the triple at Kempton and I have seen it on other ships as well.
 
Cian O'Reilly

Cian O'Reilly

Member
First colour update of the new year of the Titanic's Reciprocating Engines. As indicated in previous posts, I wanted to put the engines on a better display base and the obvious thing to do was to build part of the hull. So here she is, the hull and tank top for the main engine room and part of the of the turbine room. Also included are the lower portion of the hull frames which is an alternating sequence of simple frames and larger web frames (the alternating pattern is broken where indicated in plans). The plating laps for both the tank-top and the shell plating will require further work, and the access hatches in the tank-top have yet to be added. I have to make it clear here that with regard to rivetting patterns on both the hull and the tank-top plating, there is guess-work going on (lots of it), so expect to find abundant errors...generally speaking, Titanic's hull was flush rivetted but from the photographs I've seen it looks as though the area of the turn of the bilges appear to be hydraulically rivetted, similar to that at B deck. Regarding the colour and texture of the tank-top and the frames - my understanding, from advice I've been given, is that the deck and the frames below the level of the removable flooring were likely waterproofed with a thick bitumastic coating, which makes sense given the fact the double bottom was divided into fresh-water and ballast tanks. To be clear though, any errors/oversights are mine and a big thanks for the guidance I've recieved to those who provided it. Anyway, Criticism welcome!
 

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ethan oliver

ethan oliver

Member
First colour update of the new year of the Titanic's Reciprocating Engines. As indicated in previous posts, I wanted to put the engines on a better display base and the obvious thing to do was to build part of the hull. So here she is, the hull and tank top for the main engine room and part of the of the turbine room. Also included are the lower portion of the hull frames which is an alternating sequence of simple frames and larger web frames (the alternating pattern is broken where indicated in plans). The plating laps for both the tank-top and the shell plating will require further work, and the access hatches in the tank-top have yet to be added. I have to make it clear here that with regard to rivetting patterns on both the hull and the tank-top plating, there is guess-work going on (lots of it), so expect to find abundant errors...generally speaking, Titanic's hull was flush rivetted but from the photographs I've seen it looks as though the area of the turn of the bilges appear to be hydraulically rivetted, similar to that at B deck. Regarding the colour and texture of the tank-top and the frames - my understanding, from advice I've been given, is that the deck and the frames below the level of the removable flooring were likely waterproofed with a thick bitumastic coating, which makes sense given the fact the double bottom was divided into fresh-water and ballast tanks. To be clear though, any errors/oversights are mine and a big thanks for the guidance I've recieved to those who provided it. Anyway, Criticism welcome!
very nice
also me and my researcher have been looking at the britannics log book and the engine cylinders where painted a light grey with a thin sheet of metal covering it
another thing we found out was that the bottom of the cylinders where painted white as well as the crankshaft pits
we are also gonna 3d model the whole of the titanics tanktop is high quality but rn im making another engine room for another game
 
Cian O'Reilly

Cian O'Reilly

Member
very nice
also me and my researcher have been looking at the britannics log book and the engine cylinders where painted a light grey with a thin sheet of metal covering it
another thing we found out was that the bottom of the cylinders where painted white as well as the crankshaft pits
we are also gonna 3d model the whole of the titanics tanktop is high quality but rn im making another engine room for another game
Hi Ethan, yes, if you look at the port engine you can see that the grey painted steel lagging sheets have been applied to the Low pressure cylinders. I have them built for the starboard engine as well and will do the same for the other cylinders eventually. The crank pits were white in earlier versions, I just haven't gotten round to changing them in this textured version.
 
judedouch

judedouch

Member
Hi, there
Here a link to a video of an interesting and well done model in live steam.
May be of interest for understanding cranks and valve eccentrics motion.
Black and White model : HERE
Colored Model : HERE
On the channel of this video, several other interesting videos are also available, as for understanding the reversing gear design and motion. (HERE)
 

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judedouch

judedouch

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I've just posted here the link to this video but I'm not at all involve in that projet.

But yes, It's a beautiful model fully cut from solid and if you have watched the video following my links, you have seen this engine runing in live steam..
 
judedouch

judedouch

Member
A question about Turning device installed on each reciprocating engine and LP Turbine

How this device is working on RMS Titanic ?

My understanding is :

At aft side of each motor on the outboard Y frame, a turning device is installed
Each turning device consist of a twin cylinders steam engines (not yet shown on this 3D model) acting on a worm gear device.
On the output of this worm gear, an another vertical worm gear can be engaged on the large flying wheel installed at aft of the crank shaft.
The vertical worm gear acting on the flying wheel has a long extended shaft supported in a bearing housing at the bottom of the base frame.
I think this shaft is a spline type shaft.
A long manual lever is also installed on this bearing housing.

My undertanding is that lever is used to lift up the worm gear along the vertical spline shaft to start engagement of the worm gear in the flying wheel gearing .
The worm gear rest normaly at bottom of the vertical spline shaft when no turning is required (has shown on the attached picture)
When the worn gear is lift up by the manual lever, whith the vertical shaft in rotation, he will start to be engaged in the gearing of the flying wheel and then will naturally slide up to the top end of the spline shaft. And at that end position, rotation motion of the flying wheel will start

If the turning steam engines are reverse, the flying wheel will stop to rotate and the worm gear on the vertical splined shaft will slide down till
it is fully disengage from the flying wheel gear

This device seems to allow turning the crank in one direction only. May be no reason to have both direction available ?

Do you think my understanding is correct? and why only one direction of turning is required ?

On the aft side of the LP turbine, a another turning device is provide , but seems to be a litle bit different (for the drive mainly as I understand) than the one on main steam engines, but should work the same maner.
 

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Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
I have seen the video. This amazing working model indeed and with live steam too wow. If working with live steam a heck a lot of work has gone into it. Though I see there is no steam coming out of the low pressure pipe as used to drive the turbine.
 
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Steven Christian

Steven Christian

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I have seen the video. This amazing working model indeed and with live steam too wow. If working with live steam a heck a lot of work has gone into it. Though I see there is no steam coming out of the low pressure pipe as used to drive the turbine.
Impressive.
 
B

Bill West

Member
Hello Cian, thanks for another fine set of pictures.

JDD -I remember when that model engine started, it is quite a project. In one of his YouTube replies he mentions The Shipbuilder special issue. Access to it is mentioned in post #2 of this thread Engine Room Secondary Devices

Regarding the reciprocating engine turning gear I think your understanding is exactly correct. One of the desirable features of the device would be to make it very difficult to accidently leave it in place or have it accidently engage on its own. A bias to disengaging by gravity helps that. The turbine turning gear appears to be the same system with an electric drive.

Bill
 
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Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
If not driven by live steam it still very impressive model. Looking at the background it would appear the engine is sitting on on milling machine table. If in a machine shop there is all chance compress air is been used. Even using compress air you still need a lubrication system. Myself worked in machine shops know only too well the amount of work and many months or even years that has gone into this. Well done indeed.
 
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