Luke
Lv 7
Luke asked in Cars & TransportationRail · 7 months ago

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?

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  • 7 months ago
    Favorite 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

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  • 4 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.

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  • 7 months ago

    The first beam engines DID have connecting rods.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam_engine

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  • Bill
    Lv 6
    7 months ago

    the beam was connected to a set of wheels and the other end connected to the steam chamber

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  • 7 months ago

    The Beam Engine was designed to pump water, there was no need for a con rod to make a rotary motion.

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    • Road warrior
      Lv 4
      6 months agoReport

      Good Answer. Many steam and gas engines are stationary. Grandpa had a few make-or-break ignition engines for irrigation.

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