Steam Engine Essay

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The function of a the steam engine
A steam engine is an external combustion that converts heat energy, in the form of steam, into mechanical energy. Steam is generated through combustion of a fuel, i.e. Coal, heating a boiler filled with water, which evaporates to produce steam that expands do drive a piston connected to a flywheel in a rotary motion. The flywheel then transmits energy created to a crankshaft which is used to provide power to machines, such as locomotives, fluid pumps, and machine tools. Waste steam is then expelled from the engine through an exhaust, or can be condensed and repurposed in some steam engine designs (Croft and Tangerman, 1939).

History of the steam engine
The principles of steam powered machines have been around for thousands of years, although the first practical
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The introduction of a flywheel which is connected to the piston. The flywheel, rotated by the power stroke of the piston would provide a smoother reciprocation of the piston. This addition enabled the steam engine to be adapted for use in a multitude of machines through the transmission of energy from the flywheel through a crankshaft.
Components of a steam engine
Although there are many different types of steam engines, the core function and components remain the same. A steam engine must contain the following:
Combustion chamber (Firebox) – This is where fuel is burned in order to produce the heat necessary to provide heat to the boiler in order to generate steam.
• Boiler – A pressure vessel that stores water to be heated by the boiler to provide steam to drive the piston, and power the engine.
• Cold Sink – In its simplest form, a cold sink is a device used to vent waste steam into the environment, or to redirect steam to into the engine for reuse (Lardner, 1840).
• Motor unit – A device used to convert the heat energy generated through the expansion of steam into mechanical energy that is required to carry out work, usually in the form of a piston, or
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