Uniflow Steam Engine - Design Details

Design Details

Steam entry is usually controlled by poppet valves (which act similarly to those used in internal combustion engines) that are operated by a camshaft. The inlet valves open to admit steam when minimum expansion volume has been reached at the start of the stroke. For a period of the crank cycle, steam is admitted, and the poppet inlet is then closed, allowing continued expansion of the steam during the stroke, driving the piston. Near the end of the stroke, the piston will uncover a ring of exhaust ports mounted radially around the centre of the cylinder. These ports are connected by a manifold and piping to the condenser, lowering the pressure in the chamber below that of the atmosphere causing rapid exhausting. Continued rotation of the crank moves the piston. From the animation, the features of a uniflow engine can be seen, with a large piston almost half the length of the cylinder, poppet inlet valves at either end, a camshaft (whose motion is derived from that of the driveshaft) and a central ring of exhaust ports.

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