Steam Happens # 19: The Swash Plate-Axial Steam Engine:
Here's the Design Challenge. Read this stuff, visit the links, and design and build a full-scale engine of this type.
Then write an article or letter to the editor of Steamboating Magazine about your project.
Plus, if you're using this site and don't yet have a subscription to Steamboating Magazine please do so by clicking here
tell em Uncle Earl sent you
Historical pictures and resources:
Link to Steam Using: Or, Steam Engine Practice, Chas. A. Smith, 1885. Pages 99- 102
Be sure to save this book in your Google Books "Bookshelf favorites." It's a great resource.
Movies of Joe Ritter's Swash Plate Engine in Operation (click on title to download and view):
Compiled movie on Youtube at: http://youtu.be/wnQpJi-U8ws
Caution: Large files. Download only if you have broadband!
Right click on the link below and choose "save link as" option, download file to your computer. You may then view the file directly.
Turning over slowly
Starting off slowly
Close-up of exhaust valving
Color Pictures of Joe Ritter's Swash Plate Model Engine, a good prototype for a full-scale version:
Photo 1: Pistons are clearly in contact with swash plate
Photo 2: Valve assembly on right side of photo. Steam admission pipe pointing outward into center
Photo 3: Thin bronze exhaust cam in contact with lower three valve stems. Exhaust exits seen as angular openings in center brass body.
Photo 4a: Exhaust components
Photo 4b: Close-up of exhaust cam components used for adjusting valve clearance
Photo 4c: Shows exhaust cam components partially assembled
Different angle of exhaust components
Photo 5: Valve end of the engine with the exhaust valve components removed.
Photo 6: Cylinder head and admission valving components
Photo 7: Piston and cylinder components. One piston removed
Other photos not included in article:
Piston roller end. Note water grooves
Valve end showing cap screws
Right Click here, choose "save link as" option to download a short movie of Joe Ritter's Pogo Stick engine in operation:
Peter Renzetti's Swash plate engine:
Valve diagram of peter's engine:
Earl's first drawings of full scale swash plate engine:
Only one cylinder fitted with piston and exhaust valve for clarity.
Right Click here and choose "save link as" option to download dwg drawing for manipulation and dissection (March 1, 2010 edition)
Right Click here and choose "save link as" option to download dxf drawing for manipulation and dissection (March 1, 2010 edition)
If you don't have CAD software for viewing either dwg or dfx
Click here to download free viewing software
that allows rotation and close examination of drawings.
Other related resources for Steam Happens #19: The Swash Plate-Axial Steam Engine
My feeling is that a swash plate automotive air conditioner compressor can be used as a basis for a decent steam engine. The photo below is from a 96 Jeep XJ
A double-acting AC diagram is shown below
Download a YouTube video of an AC teardown here
A nice animation of a Toyota double-acting swash plate air conditioner compressor can be found at:
And a nice animation of a 12 cylinder axial Vector engine:
A great website for animations and ideas can be found at the Museum of RetroTechnology: