Steam engine
Steam engine Steam" en"gine ([e^]n"j[i^]n). An engine moved by steam. [1913 Webster]

Note: In its most common forms its essential parts are a piston, a cylinder, and a valve gear. The piston works in the cylinder, to which steam is admitted by the action of the valve gear, and communicates motion to the machinery to be actuated. Steam engines are thus classified: 1. According to the way the steam is used or applied, as condensing, noncondensing, compound, double-acting, single-acting, triple-expansion, etc. 2. According to the motion of the piston, as reciprocating, rotary, etc. 3. According to the motion imparted by the engine, as rotative and nonrotative. 4. According to the arrangement of the engine, as stationary, portable, and semiportable engines, horizontal and vertical engines, beam engine, oscillating engine, direct-acting and back-acting engines, etc. 5. According to their uses, as portable, marine, locomotive, pumping, blowing, winding, and stationary engines, the latter term referring to factory engines, etc., and not technically to pumping or blowing engines. Locomotive and portable engines are usually high-pressure, noncondensing, rotative, and direct-acting. Marine engines are high or low pressure, rotative, and generally condensing, double-acting, and compound. Paddle engines are generally beam, side-lever, oscillating, or direct-acting. Screw engines are generally direct-acting, back-acting, or oscillating. Stationary engines belong to various classes, but are generally rotative. A horizontal or inclined stationary steam engine is called a left-hand or a right-hand engine when the crank shaft and driving pulley are on the left-hand side, or the right-hand side, respectively, of the engine, to a person looking at them from the cylinder, and is said to run forward or backward when the crank traverses the upward half, or lower half, respectively, of its path, while the piston rod makes its stroke outward from the cylinder. A marine engine, or the engine of a locomotive, is said to run forward when its motion is such as would propel the vessel or the locomotive forward. Steam engines are further classified as double-cylinder, disk, semicylinder, trunk engines, etc. Machines, such as cranes, hammers, etc., of which the steam engine forms a part, are called steam cranes, steam hammers, etc. See Illustration in Appendix. [1913 Webster]

{Back-acting steam engine}, or {Back-action steam engine}, a steam engine in which the motion is transmitted backward from the crosshead to a crank which is between the crosshead and the cylinder, or beyond the cylinder.

{Portable steam engine}, a steam engine combined with, and attached to, a boiler which is mounted on wheels so as to admit of easy transportation; -- used for driving machinery in the field, as thrashing machines, draining pumps, etc.

{Semiportable steam engine}, a steam engine combined with, and attached to, a steam boiler, but not mounted on wheels. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • steam engine — steam engine, adj. an engine worked by steam, typically one in which a sliding piston in a cylinder is moved by the expansive action of the steam generated in a boiler. [1745 55] * * * Machine that uses steam power to perform mechanical work… …   Universalium

  • steam engine — ► NOUN 1) an engine that uses the expansion or rapid condensation of steam to generate power. 2) a steam locomotive …   English terms dictionary

  • steam engine — n. 1. an engine using steam under pressure to supply mechanical energy, usually through the action of a piston sliding in a cylinder 2. a locomotive powered by steam …   English World dictionary

  • steam engine — steam ,engine noun count an engine that gets its power from steam, especially a train engine …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • steam engine — 1751; earlier in the same sense was fire engine, atmospheric engine …   Etymology dictionary

  • Steam engine — A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. [ [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/564472/steam engine steam engine Britannica Online Encyclopedia ] ] Steam engines have a long history,… …   Wikipedia

  • steam engine — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms steam engine : singular steam engine plural steam engines an engine that gets its power from steam, especially a railway engine …   English dictionary

  • steam engine — garo variklis statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. steam engine; steam power engine vok. Dampfkraftmaschine, f; Dampfmaschine, f rus. паровой двигатель, m pranc. moteur à vapeur, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • steam engine — steam′ en gine n. mac an engine worked by steam, typically one in which a sliding piston in a cylinder is moved by the expansive action of the steam generated in a boiler • Etymology: 1745–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • steam engine — engine using pressurized steam to supply mechanical energy …   English contemporary dictionary

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