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Re: Very High pressure steam boiler/leaks

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Posted by Boiler Guy on March 21, 2005 at 18:04:22:

In Reply to: Re: Very High pressure steam boiler/leaks posted by needsalife on March 21, 2005 at 17:12:20:

Steam pressures and temperatures can be all over the place, below are just typical ranges only:

typical manufacturing complex/college-hospital campus heating - 75 psig to 175 psig saturated (<400 deg F)

smaller cogeneration facilities - 450 psig to 650 psig at 750 deg F superheat

Naval vessels - anywhere from 600 psig to 1,200 psig or more + superheat

Large combined cycle power plants - HP steam at 2,000 psig at 1,000+ deg F

Utility - supercritical over 3,000 psig

Pressures/temperatures really depend on the application. As for cutting ability, I have no firsthand experience with seeing a steam leak cut an object.

Boiler Guy

: : Thank You for your response. Much of what you wrote was exactly as I had suspected. By definition steam is "invisible". Other posters on the site I mentioned, claimed that it was visible and would distort light passing through it. I have personally experienced steam leaks @ 5 psi. The only way to know there was a leak was present was by the condensation on the surrounding walls and ceilings. You could not see or hear the leak but if you passed your hand near it you would most certainly get burned.

: My next question is: In power generation plants, Nuclear subs. and other high pressure steam facilities, what kinds of pressures would be typical? My guess is anything over 1000 psi would cut like a knife.
: Thanks again, Needsalife...
: ::
: : "steam" is colorless. what is visible is condensation, actual water droplets of condensed steam entrained in the vapor. Superheated steam will prolong the condensation process to atmosphere impacting the visibility of the steam.

: : Steam leaks are extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. Steam travels at an extremely high speed. There is a velocity component to the leak size and pressure of steam as it is exposed to atmospheric pressure and subsequent expansion. The velocity of steam exiting a leak can turn water droplets into a chainsaw. It is also at very high temperature. The sound of a leak will be a function of the leak size, steam pressure, background noise, etc....

: : An often forgotton threat from steam in a confined area is suffocation. Steam will displace air. On some ships steam is used as a fire suppression agent in cargo holds.

: : I'd like to see this one on Myth Busters but do not know how you would authentically recreate such a leak.

: : Boiler Guy

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