Why did early steam engines have a rocking beam?
Why didn't they use a simple connecting rod as they did for later steam engines?
- 7 months agoFavorite Answer
The early steam engines used very low pressure steam, and were powered more by the vacuum when it condensed. Using the beam brought the cylinder parts to a place where they were easily accessible. Also the Watt parallel linkage was a lot easier to manufacture with the tools available compared to a slide bar and crosshead
- Old Man DirtLv 74 months ago
The earliest locomotives tore the rails up. The beam was seen as a way to make them less damaging to the rails. Keep in mind early "rails" were nothing more then wood with strips of metal on them. Balancing the wheels, drive rods and side rods was an un-refined science at the time.
There is also the issue of using off the shelf parts and making your own. The valve controls and many other things had been worked out for stationary engines that were vertical. It lowered the amount of engineering needed to construct a working locomotive.
- BillLv 67 months ago
the beam was connected to a set of wheels and the other end connected to the steam chamber
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- Fred3663Lv 77 months ago
The Beam Engine was designed to pump water, there was no need for a con rod to make a rotary motion.