If you have any kind of knowledge about the industrial age then you might surely know that the steam engines actually played a very important role in the industrial revolution which began in the 19th century.
During the industrial revolution: was a very affordable source of fuel.
The call locomotives could run at over 100 mph and deliver the industrial products from one place to another at a very affordable cost and this gave rise to the widespread use of steam engines which used to run off coal.
Nowadays the electric engines are the gas locomotives are widely used but still the steam engines are pretty popular in heritage railway roads.
This is because steam engines are actually very interesting mechanisms at work. Still most of the people have no idea as to how does a steam engine work and that is what fascinates many people to see steam engines and to find out more about the working of steam engines.
The working of steam engine is not as complicated as it seems and below we would be trying to explain the working steam engine in the simplest of terms.
Steam engines usually run of all and call is naturally available in the mines and to understand the working of steam engines you had to 1st understand the basic nature of coal.
Coal is produced in nature from the residue of human as well as plant remains which are converted into call with the heat of the earth and this process actually takes thousands of years to get completed.
Whenever coal is burnt the hydrogen and oxygen bonds which are contained in call are broken and energy is released in the form of heat.
In a steam engine the heat which is produced by burning coal is used to heat a large quantity of water and this water is actually contained in the large network of tubes in the steam engine.
The reason that a large network of tubes is actually used instead of a single tube is so that the water which is required to produce a proper quantity of steam is heated in a quick manner because if the water which is present in only a single tube is heated it would actually take a long period of time together the amount of steam which can be used to move the piston. This is the reason that a large network of pipes is used to simultaneously heat the required amount of water to produce the steam which is then pushed into the cylinder.
This cylinder is actually in front of the wheels and the cylinder is directly attached with the piston as well. This piston is in turn connected with all the wheels of the locomotive.
This arrangement ensures that when the steam enters the cylinder through the inlet it has to go out from near the piston and since the steam is in such high force it moves the piston as well and since the piston is directly connected to all the wheels of the engine the wheels start moving as well.
The piston is connected to the wheels in such a manner that the moment of the piston most the wheel in a circular motion which pushes the engine for.
From this arrangement it is clear that the more the amount of coal which is burnt, the more heat would be produced, and the faster the larger quantity of water would be heated producing more steam which in turn would move the piston faster and more the wheels faster as well and therefore the speed of the engine is in direct proportion with the amount of gold which is being point.
Due to this arrangement most of the steam engine is actually needed an very large quantity of gold to complete their journey and this much quantity of coal could not be loaded into the steam engine and therefore they were followed by a compartment which was known as a tender which used to consist of sufficient quantity of coal to increase the speed of the engine throughout the journey and to ensure that there is more than enough quantity of gold to complete the entire journey.
Coal was actually very affordable during the Industrial Revolution. With the advent of gasoline the engines became much more sophisticated and the efficiency of the engine is also increased and they could be silly run at higher speeds as well at lower cost and after some period of time it was noted that the supply of coal in the earth is actually very limited and therefore the cost of coal also increased and thus steam engines became unviable.
The final nail in the coffin came in when countries all over the world started concentrating on reducing their carbon footprint since the steam engine produce a lot of smoke which was harmful for the environment it was actually detrimental for the environment and increasing the carbon footprint of the countries which were using such steam engines and that is where steam engines were slowly taken out of service and were continuously being replaced by the gasoline engines.
There are still some countries which use the steam engines because gasoline is actually not produced in all the countries and therefore most of the countries which use gasoline had to imported from other countries and this proves to be very expensive. Due to this reason you would still find a lot of countries which are using steam engines but they are being slowly phased out in favour of the electric engines as well.
The large number of moving parts in the steam engine meant that they had to be continuously maintained and also there were a lot of breakdowns as well whereas in the other form of engines which are available these days the moving parts are actually much lower than the steam engines and therefore the kind of maintenance which is required is also on the lower side and therefore they have an advantage over the steam engines.