Beam Engine Piston Structure (c1830).
19th c British Industrial Industrial Arts
Coalbrookdale. Shropshire. England.
Dating from the 1830s, this piston was driven by higher pressure steam than was characteristic of its predecessor, the Newcomen Engine. Iron cylinders of this period had walls parallel only to a tolerance of 1-2 mm. The era of precise cylindrical walls as in high compression internal combustion engines was yet to come. Still, the steam had to be contained during the power strokes and was done so by means of wet rope bulging out to the diameter of the cylinder, slightly larger than the diameter of the 'junk ring' which you see here and which squeezed the wet rope to produce a tight fit (and not a small amount of friction during the power strokes).
Caption: BRITISH | Beam Engine Piston Structure (c1830). | 1830 | British | Industrial
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