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The Steam Engine

The Steam engine was the beginning of a new industrial era in the second half of the 18th century. James Watt invented the steam engine between 1768 to 1782, after this, there were various other power engines on the market. Terrific developments in industry, agriculture and traffic would follow.

Image of Wilesco D12 model toy steam engine

Image of Wilesco toy steam engine piston
Image Wilesco toy steam engine pushrod

WILESCO-Steam Engines are toys with tradition. They convert water (steam) into mechanical energy just like the originals. This energy can be used to drive our models.

Today turbines and gasoline engines have replaced the steam engine, nevertheless they still hold the interest of young and old alike. Wilesco-Engines cater for this ageless interest in demonstrating the basic principles of changing heat and water into mechanical power. That's the reason why everybody can learn a lot from the steam engine.

Key to the diagrams:

1. The water in the boiler is heated by the fire, this generates steam and because it is trapped in the boiler pressure builds up. Steam can pass, however, to the cylinder (blue dotted lines) via the slide valves.

in the second diagram the steam can be seen passing to the left side of the piston, pushing the piston to the right. At the same time the exhaust steam from previous stroke is directed, by the other port on the slide valve, out into the atmosphere, having done its work, (dotted green line).

Just before the piston reaches the end of its travel, on the extreme right, the slide valve cuts off the steam from the boiler. This is the point where the crank is at the limit of its movement and is known as "top-dead-center" or "bottom-dead-center", referring to the two possible geometric positions. The flywheel carries the crank over this critical position by the energy it has stored from previous power strokes.

The slide valve continues to move in the same direction this time opening the inlet port to admit steam to the right hand side of the piston, again pushing the piston but now to the left, exhausting the steam through the left hand port. The whole cycle being repeated when the "dead center" is reached once more.