Titanics Reciprocating Steam Engines


Status
Not open for further replies.

Alec Barker

Member
Aug 22, 2003
27
0
141
Hi All,
I have just decided to undertake the huge task of modeling a complete replica of the Titanic's 2 reciprocating steam engines, and animate them.
But one thing I will need to undertake this huge task, is measurements.
I have looked at the titanic-titanic! site, and found some useful info on her engines http://www.titanic-titanic.com/engine%20room.shtml

But that only gives off rather basic info...
I would need to know the height of the cylinders and the height of those 4 posts etc... If any of you know what these measurements were, please tell me, and I will be able to create a much more accurate model for you to wonder around.

All the best,
Alec
 
Mar 22, 2003
6,527
1,811
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
Some good sketches of the engines are given in The Shipbuilder souvenir number published in the summer of 1911. Refer to plates VII and VIII. You can get idea of dimensions from the frame spacings shown in the double bottom, which were 36 inches apart. For an animation and explanation of the complete power plant, reciprocating engines and turbine, see http://www.geocities.com/samuel_halpern/mypage.html.

Cheers,
 
Mar 22, 2003
6,527
1,811
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
Hi Shane: Thanks, but I have been to that site before. It does have = nice diagrams of steam engine parts, etc., but the question was specifically asked about Titanic's 4-cylindar, triple expansion engines. The = description of the some of the details concerning Titanic's engines, including = steam flow sequence, steam pressures, slide and piston valves, and crank = angles on the site I referenced, as well as the animation presented there, is completely accurate. If you are looking for a detailed model of = Titanic's engines, one was created by Karl-Friedrich Pohlmann and can be viewed = at http://titanic-model.com/db/db-03/hahn.html along with a = desription of the model and its accurcy.
 
Oct 11, 2004
27
0
141
hello all am new and have somethings to say about the ships engines so just hear me out anyway titanic's engines were small because white star line wanted to save on whight and had low hp because white star did not want alot of hp on that ship but ismay wanted more speed but as u know the smith did not want to push the motors
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>anyway titanic's engines were small because white star line wanted to save on whight and had low hp because white star did not want alot of hp on that ship but ismay wanted more speed but as u know the smith did not want to push the motors<<

At three stories tall, I'd hardly call the Titanic's engines small. In regards horsepower, it was exactly what it needed to be to give White Star a 21 knot ship that was still large, comfortable, and capable of providing the weekly service they wanted to with the ships they were building for that service.

Regarding Ismay wanting more speed, this is issue is not so much controversial as it is misunderstood. That curious myth about the Titanic trying to break some sort of transatlantic speed record and all that. An Olympic class liner simply wasn't capable of doing that and White Star had long given up on that sort of competition. They may well have been trying to beat Olympic's time and if such is the case, that would be consistant with the aim to make each new ship look a little bit bigger/better/faster then the one which came befor.
 
Dec 29, 2000
111
1
263
The full desing of Titanics Propulsion Plant shows up remarkable points:
It was desinged to lower steam and coal consumption, by switching a turbine after the reciprocating engines to use the steam of the engines and give the engine plant a better overall performance.
Titanics Engines were not designed for maximum effort rpm output. more for constant high turn output, so having a special crankshaft and cylinder design one only can find in well balanced and less steam needing engines. For High power output ony might have used anohter crankshaft angle design and used 4 clyinder quadruple expansion or three cylinder thriple expansion design in the engine.
So the turbine gave extra thrust, which made it possible to use smaller engines, and the engine desing also showed up to a continoius steam output to the turbine as a special designed and constructed round output, which seldom could be do maximum rounds output...
So still technical Titanics plant wasn't constructed for 'racing', it was constructed to use less coal, man power and could be seen as a 'eco' type Propulsion plant.

Because no steam engine runs at maximum power output realy economical, still the fire in the boilers could not be 'trigger' some more, because if a boiler reaches maximum furnance load at the grid, each shovel coal more will lower steam production and result in less steam output. So more isn't more, more than maximum isn't possible.
And if one can find out how much steam all boilers will produce, one can calculate how fast the reciprocating engines might be able to run, and thus find out which theoretical maximum speed the ship might have be able to reach.. I guess 23 kn would be all it could go!!! More made no sense!
 
Oct 11, 2004
27
0
141
I know that smith did not want to push the motors before they were run in and he knows what he was doing ather all he got the sister ship to ny and back just fine so if anyone wants to say anything to this go right head
 
Jan 5, 2001
2,358
248
338
Hi Nicholas!

You wrote: 'I know that smith did not want to push the motors before they were run in and he knows what he was doing ather all he got the sister ship to ny and back just fine...'

Certainly, there are concerns with pushing a new ship's engines too hard on a maiden voyage. However, there are no primary sources that I am aware of which document Captain Smith saying this. There is, however, a line from James Cameron's movie:

Captain Smith: Mr. Ismay, I would prefer not to push the engines until they were properly run in.

Olympic did arrive safely in New York in 1911, under Smith's command. However, she was slightly early herself. It was recorded in 1911 that Olympic's engines acheived 80 revolutions at one point on her maiden voyage -- so it would not seem surprising for Titanic to attain the same rate of speed. It's my personal belief that Titanic's engines were up to about 79-80 revolutions by the time of the collision, and that the plan was to at least maintain that rate of speed for an arrival in New York that would have bettered Olympic's time the year before. There are those who disagree with my opinion as to the speed of the ship at the time of the collision, but if you are interested in the whole 'Did Ismay pressure Captain Smith' issue then George Behe's 1997 booklet, Titanic: Safety, Speed & Sacrifice is the most detailed yet published in terms of exploring the evidence.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 
Mar 22, 2003
6,527
1,811
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
I not only agree with what Mark had written but had recently completed an analysis of Titanic's maiden voyage locations and event times. At the rate she was going late that night she was headed for a projected arrival off Ambrose 5 days 12 hours and 23 minutes after her departure off Daunt Rock lightship at 14:20 GMT on April 11, 1912. This would have been better than Olympic's 2nd voyage record to NY of mid July the year before.
 
Jan 5, 2001
2,358
248
338
Hi Sam!

Unsurprisingly, I agree with what you have said -- I think the evidence from Sunday April 14th 1912 is quite comprehensive as to Titanic's increasing speed. As you know from your correspondence with me and George Behe, I have tried to make sense of much of the testimony as to whether the intention was for a Tuesday arrival in my own writings. George has been very generous in sharing his research. Your own documented analysis as to the ship's speed and location at different times that is a really excellent piece of work in analysing the rate of speed at various times in the voyage. Indeed, it's the best analysis I have seen. If you need any further information about Olympic's 1911 performances, I'll be happy to assist in your research.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 
Dec 29, 2000
111
1
263
Dear Samuel,
there is no need in Reciprocating engines to 'run in'... All the bearings have to fit from the first moment.
Most gasoline and diesel engies have to 'rrun in', because here the piston seal rings will 'rub' at the cylinder stoke box, and thus getting warm, and will due heat and adhesion 'polish together' for best sealing.
In steam engines this is not necessary. The pistons have 3 up to 8 spring loaded seal rings, forming a labyrinth seal, so they have no need to seal 100 % pressure, thus need to to polsih to sttrokebox surface in a 'run in Procedure'...
Also the crank bearings and gear bearings were fitted, and these bearrings have to fit from the moment they were mounted. If there is just little dirt, space ot to hard fit, the engine will destruct the bearing. First it will get warm (all bearings will get more than good hand warm, but should not got hot!), then hot. The bearing box is filled with a special alloy, I do not know the technical term for this, but if the bearing gets to hot, because it fitts to hard, the alloy will get liquid again, flow out from the bearing box, leaving the crankpin or sharft running on copper allay emergency bearings, and the engine will start to 'hammer' (a hard knocking sound, called 'hammering' which is the engineers slang for a bad bearing) hardly, and need to be stopped, before the crankpin or shaft get damaged.

So running Titanics engines will start at normal reevolutions, and the high skilled engineers will have a ear to engine sound, because one can hear bearings before they 'flow off'.. Also the would tough the bearings in regular shedules, to feel if the bearing gets to warm, showing a not fit mount.
Consider: A engeneer need to hold his arrm into the revolvering crankshaft to touch the crankpin bearing, any false movement, failure in concentration and the arm is squezzed off by the rude force of crank and drive rod! Same with the excenters which propel the Stephenson linkage, and after this a touuch of the crosshead is also done, just to feel if the croshead fit well to the slide bars, is not hammering and not attached to tight, also feeling if crossheadd attachment of the drive rod is going not to hard and feel if this bearing is mounted well, and not to strong in bearing...
Maybe in Titanics case the Greasers have made this control shedule, and often I know engineers also tough the oil drippping from the bearings and feel if to warm, as first sign of a hard going bearing...
But if there arre no signs of damage or hard going bearrings, well, lets opeen the throttle to all-possibble, and drive the linkage to the nailtippoint, and see what the engine can do... Now all seals have to show if tight and mounted well.... and the engine can show if designed good, because know all imbalances start up to show, in rattle and vibrations... But if that all runs correctly, such larrge engines will run with a deeply hissing noise, like large, giant dragons asleep, were one only can guess about the rude forces pulling to pistons, rods and cranks... such noises can make an entousiast like me shiver...
 
Mar 22, 2003
6,527
1,811
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
Hi Steffen: I believe it was Nicholas Filpula who mentioned about the engines being run in. But in any case, it is known that in the early part of the voyage the ship was not being run at full speed. According to Ismay, in the 1st leg from Southamptom to Cherbourg they ran her at 68 revolutions, and from Cherbough to Queenstown at 70 revolution. It was on the night of April 14th that they achieved their highest speed. Some insight as to why they kept the speed down in the earlier part of the voyage may come from a letter written by 1/O Murdoch to his parents on Apr 11 as they approached Queenstown. In it he said: "We are getting things fairly straight now, but owing to this Coal Strike we are only going at 19 or 20 knots per hour." This speed is consistent with carrying the low number of revolutions. Apparently before they started the last leg of the voyage, from Queenstown to New York, they were willing to conserve coal to have more available for the transatlantic part of the voyage.
 

Chris Carter

Member
Jan 2, 2005
11
0
131
Samuel Halpern that was an awesome site you gave on the titanic's engine. Now if the owner of that working engine would just post a quick time video of it running that would be great.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Similar threads