Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

A special section just for steam engines and boilers, as without these you may as well fit a sail.
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DetroiTug
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Re: Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

Post by DetroiTug » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:04 pm

Mike,

The boiler Fred and I are referring to is one without a water leg and the outer shell extends down and makes the firebox. Fred pointed out and I hadn't noticed that this against ASME code. The shell in the area of the fire will expand and compromise the weld joint in the lower tube sheet. Needs to be a separate unit.

-Ron
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Re: Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

Post by fredrosse » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:57 pm

"...... I have found it almost impossible to find steel that isn't adequate for a 150wsp VFT."

From the standpoint of simple tensile stress capabilities, this is true, however, the listed strength of steels is not the only relevant criteria. For example, the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (Section 1, Power Boilers) lists steels that are allowable for boiler construction, and the majority of steels are listed as "NP", meaning "Not Permitted" for power boilers.

ASTM SA106 Seamless pipe is permitted, so is MOST of the A53 pipe, however, SA135 steel pipe is not permitted. One would be hard pressed to tell the difference between any of these pipe materials without extensive laboratory testing or the Pipe specification written on the piece of pipe. Beyond tensile strength, the ductile properties (% elongation to failure) of steels is very relevant here, plus weldability. Weldability goes well beyond the capability to lay a good weld bead on the material, several issues can crop up, such as intergranular stress risers, shrinkage cracking, hydrogen embrittlement, post-weld heat treatment, etc. Also chemical properties and susceptibility to various modes of corrosion. Various steels respond differently to service temperatures, another relevant property here.

So it is recommended that, if one is buying or building a boiler, to know what material is used, by obtaining it from a reputable supplier, rather than just picking up a cutoff piece of scrap pipe that might be available. A good example is the stuff that is made for high pressure gas cylinders, such as welding Oxygen cylinders and welding shield gas cylinders. These cylinders hold 3600 PSI gas pressure, and are made from very high strength steel. So they would be OK for the main vessel of a hobby boiler? Not so, this is a high strength steel, with all kinds of special welding and heat treatment requirements to avoid cracks, etc., plus probably several other issues I am unaware of.

Ask on the forum, I will be glad to look and see if the materials you may want to use are "permitted".
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Re: Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

Post by cyberbadger » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:07 pm

steampower88 wrote:I’m simply looking for a boiler that can run two ray hasbrouck number one engines that will be made into a twin cylinder set up and is a total of 4 hp at 500 rpm. I need a boiler that is bulletproof and very user friendly with a novice operator. I’d prefer it to wood fired because it’s readily available in my parts and coal is not or at least not steam coal. I appreciate everyone’s time and advice on here and I’m just trying to keep steaming alive and there are some people that turn their noses up at you at times for even asking a question about it. I understand the liabilities in this hobby and understand that people are trying to protect it. But by protecting so closely it’s not allowing it to grow and getting younger people into the hobby.
A meta conversation about this topic.

The collision of new comers to steam to the entrenched is unfortunately often much rougher then I feel it needs to be. Especially on forums, and definitely not just on this steamboating forum in particular. Smokestak was much worse for me.

Part of it is always sticker shock, which leads newcomers to want to find a cheaper home made solution.

If you want steamboating on the cheap from what I've seen you are much better off starting with buying a used steam launch in a serviceable condition then making your own.

Nyitra's boiler was about $9,000. Nyitra's hull was about $750. Ancillary stuff like piping, bolts, valves, marine plywood, and all the required gear probably bump that figure easily to $20,000.

If you can't invest in a proper new boiler then really consider buying a used launch.

-CB
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Re: Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

Post by fredrosse » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:32 pm

Just for consideration, I did most of the design & manual labor to get my ASME stamped boiler, and paid as follows:

Purchasing Materials for a simple VFT - about $600 in 2010, with all material certifications:
Shell, 16 inch OD 3/8 wall x 18 inches long, ASTM A106 B cost $278
Tubesheets, 15 inch diameter x 3/8 thick, Material Purchase ASTM SA 516-70 Gr B cost $99
Boiler Tubes 1.25 OD x 0.095 wall x 18 inches long, ASTM A178 cost $169
Welded/Screwed Fittings, ASTM SA/A 105 3000 LB cost about $50

Tubesheets, Machining, E-Machine Shop, 48 reamed holes, Perfect Job, cost $485

Boiler Fabrication & all Welding, Design Review, ASME and National Board Stamping,
Columbia Boiler, Pottstown PA cost $890

So for the basic boiler pressure vessel, about $2000 with a code stamping. Of course, SRV, sight glass, valves, etc., burner, firebrick setting, lagging, smoke hood and stack are homemade, and not boiler safety issues.
Attachments
TackedTubesheetClose.JPG
Tubesheet Tacked into Shell
TackedTubesheetClose.JPG (50.55 KiB) Viewed 1207 times
Boiler-Tubes Rolled.jpg
Boiler ready to go to the ASME Shop for Fabrication
Boiler-Tubes Rolled.jpg (33.67 KiB) Viewed 1207 times
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Re: Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

Post by cyberbadger » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:09 pm

fredrosse wrote:These cylinders hold 3600 PSI gas pressure, and are made from very high strength steel. So they would be OK for the main vessel of a hobby boiler? Not so, this is a high strength steel, with all kinds of special welding and heat treatment requirements to avoid cracks, etc., plus probably several other issues I am unaware of.
I refrain from judgement, but that doesn't seem to be stopping this fella.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/thr ... a.1053260/

-CB
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Re: Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

Post by DetroiTug » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:17 pm

Something apparently did stop that fella - from posting any updates anyway since back in the summer. I tried to inform him that the Cromoly cylinders he was using are potentially dangerous, but he ignored my warnings at the time or maybe he didn't, hopefully he abandoned that and went to a proper component material. That is all we can do. ;)
-Ron
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Lopez Mike
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Re: Getting a boiler built in or Rochester New York

Post by Lopez Mike » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:20 pm

One problem is that when you walk into most steel suppliers away from major industrial areas and ask about steel specifications you will get a blank look. What they have is rated with four digit numbers like 1020. And in preformed tubes below a foot in diameter or so it's well casing or nothing. For flues, heat exchanger steel tubes seems to be the magic phrase. For my loco boiler that produced 1" diameter .063 wall tubing.

That said, the boilers I'm running in the shop right now, the locomotive with 12" diameter and a shop VFT for running small engines that is 8" diameter, both out of well casing, are so over designed that tensile strength at 150 psi (350F) is not an issue. My launch boiler was professionally built.

Professionally built boilers are a bargain if you value your labor at anything above minimum wage. It's not a cheap hobby unless, as recommended, you find a used boat. Keep that in mind as you are dumping money into your own boat. You will NOT get your investment back down the road. Not in money, that is. In smiles per mile, it's the best money you can invest.
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