What Caused the 2nd Explosion?


Nov 14, 2005
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It could have been a been a boiler explosion or a steam line rupture. I say this because I experienced a steam line rupture at the power plant I use to work at. The damage that the line caused was very great. Twisted I-beams, buckled deck plates/grating ect. Unfortunately it also blew down a door to the control room and killed many of co-workers. The steam at pressure and temp that that line was running expanded by volume I was told to around 1600 times..very destructive. They said if it would have been the main steam line it would have flattened the whole plant. Steam explosion is a very good candidate for the second explosion. Look what happened to the S.S. Sultana. But like you said probably never be known 100%.
 
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Dec 23, 2017
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Very sorry to hear that, that must have been horrible!

But i agree, most likely a combination of boiler and steam line
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Yeah that was not a good day. I read in days of old it was not uncommon for engineers/operators to gag the safety valves so they could get just a little more pressure which often ended in catastrophic results. Pressurized steam has a ton of energy in it. Nothing to mess around with. We ran at 5000 psi 1000* main steam. At those temps and pressures it wasn't even called steam. They called it "stuff" because it was almost a plasma. But that's what was needed for our turbines to make 1500 megawatts of power. That's enough to power 1 million homes not running ac units. Titanic I read burned 600 tons of coal a day to power her engines and LP turbine. We burned over 600 tons an hour at full load. But I digress from the subject. Did any of the explorer/salvager's make it back into the engineering spaces?
 

Rancor

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Jun 23, 2017
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Luckily you didn't have to shovel 600 tons of coal an hour into the furnaces by hand!

Out of interest is that one unit or several boilers?
 
Dec 23, 2017
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I thought the Lusitania was up to 1000 tons a day with all her boiler room in use?

That is one thing that alot of people seem to forget compared the Olympic class, The Lusitania class was a fuel hog and far more expensive to run
 
Nov 14, 2005
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That was both units running full load. The units had boiler tubes not drum boilers. It was classified as a once thru super critical steam generator The whole plant was built as kind of an experiment. It used coal crushed at the mine mixed with water then pumped 275 miles thru a pipeline to us. I dont know how the industry is today but when I first hired on there were a lot of ex navy guys working there. Boiler tech ect. A power plant was a lot like a ship that didn't go anywhere. Same equipment. I worked on both ships and plants. Mohave Power Station - Wikipedia
 
Dec 23, 2017
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I highly doubt it. Iv never heard of any reports of explosions from the stern nor would there had been anything to ignite the flour, not to mention due to it being the end of the voyage there would have been little flour left. Only confirmed "Fire" was in the bow for about 3 seconds
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