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Old 07-11-2011, 06:28 AM   #1
kye
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Default metal for steam engine??

hi guys, im planning on casting up some parts for a steam engine in particular the steam cylinder, stand ( which will have the slide in it) and the fly wheel. these are going to be cast in one go, but i dont know what metal is going to be the most suitable for these mainly high wear parts. i dont have any bronze or brass alloys but what i do have is a heap of copper, aluminium, some tin and some zinc. so i suppose what im wondering is which out of brass, bronze(tin) and or aluminium bronze would be best?



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Old 07-14-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

Out of what you listed bronze is the most common cylinder material. The traditional material is "gunmetal bronze" (aka CDA 905) a high tin bronze, but I've see Everdur (CDA 655, a silicon bronze) used as well. If you're going to run it on steam you'll likely want cast iron rings for the piston, but if you're planning in running on air you can get away with o-rings (viton rings can suffice for steam rings and will server always as seals). I don't know about aluminum bronze for either, it's usually considered a real PITA to work and I think most folks avoid it for that reason.



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Old 07-14-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

Three types of metal can be found at Budget Castings which seem to be good for engines, which are:

360 aluminum
Red brass
White manganese brass

Standard brass is said to be hard to cast due to separation of the copper and zinc.

I look for metal that provides a clean surface finish, will readily pour at a reasonable temperature, and is in the 80% or greater range for machinability.
Cost of the above metal alloys is generally high.

Gray cast iron is a much less expensive material, but also much more difficult to cast since it has such a high melting temperature. Gray cast iron will provide the best wear characteristics of any metal (in my opinion), and gray cast iron running on gray cast iron is the ultimate from what I have read in the old books of when the large engines were made.

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Old 07-18-2011, 07:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

so i did a little looking around on the net as well as taking what you guys said into consideration, ive decided to go with i high leaded bronze that will contain 10% lead and 10%tin. reasons being 1-will be the easiest to make because i can just use unfluxed plumbers solder which is usually 50/50 lead tin to make it. 2- the high lead content means a lower melting point and will improve its casting properties. and 3- its machinability is rated at 80.

this is the wooden model of the steam engine.

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Old 07-18-2011, 10:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

nice looking pattern . one thing i noctice thou is lack of risers IIRC the metal has to follow a path in the large fill tube thought the cavty fo rthe part and up a riser that allows for complete fill no air pockets.
I have only done a lot f reading you are ahed of me on the doing end.
Tin

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Old 07-18-2011, 11:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

Silicon bronze is the wisest choice.
Regards,
Giovanni

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

Quote:
Originally Posted by giovanni
Silicon bronze is the wisest choice.
Regards,
Giovanni
Not a bad choice.....but it's aweful to machine...very stringy....why not 660 bearing bronze...machines "like butta" and holds up to steam just fine...especially in models.

Spent the afternoon making this eyebolt out of silcon bronze for my boat....aweful stuff...even for a 2 HP, 12" lathe.




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Old 07-19-2011, 02:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

Beautiful work Steamer!
You are right about hardness but the cylinder needs hardness.
Giovanni

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Old 07-19-2011, 03:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

I am just resuming a project that has been languishing in dust for about 10 years (due mainly to a lack of skills at that time. Improving now ) Its a Bolton No 5 marine steam engine out of castings. The cylinder and quite a few bits all made of 'gunmetal'. There have been many made and still work quite well which is not that surprising as they don't run for long periods.
Cheers
Pete

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Old 07-19-2011, 03:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: metal for steam engine??

Is this the engine?
Kind regards,
Giovanni

http://youtu.be/4IhsLmX6HG4



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