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Posted by Boiler Guy on March 04, 2004 at 06:00:35:
In Reply to: Re: Fire tube Boiler Applications posted by steamplants on March 03, 2004 at 20:08:01:
You made me have to step back into the discussion.
: Assuming all those parameters are equal - saying a large firetube is less safe than a watertube is like saying you will be less dead from standing in front of a rupturing mud drum than you will from standing in front of a rupturing fire tube shell. Neither event is likely to have a good outcome, yet neither boiler is any more likely or predisposed to have this type of occurrence than the other.
Steamplants, all parameters are NOT equal when comparing the two. Your argument is flawed for a very important reason: the holding capacity of saturated water inside of the vessel. I went to the Superior website, they state a 1500 HP Super Seminole will have a water capacity of 68,900 lbs at normal water level. I dug up a sheet from a 50,000 pph Nebraska D-type watertube I have, it has about 20,000 lbs water. That is three and a half times more saturated water in the firetube as the watertube. That translates to a significantly greater potential for explosive damage if the pressure vessel is violated. Your statement that you will be less dead is again also flawed: the point is the firetube has the potential to do significantly more damage than a comparable capacity watertube. The greater volume of saturated water inside of the firetube makes the odds of damage significantly greater. The person standing beside either one at time of a failure is in serious trouble either way, however the extent of the damage will be far greater with the firetube placing more personnel and property at-risk compared to the watertube.
I am not arguing that yes, coming off the shop floor each is equally safe and yes each need proper operation and maintenance from owners/operators/inspectors. My point from the start has been when the only differentiating factor between a watertube and firetube of this high capacity is cost, in my opinion the price difference (which is not very significant at those capacities) is not worth the significantly greater potential for significant damage should "stuff happen" some point 5, 10, 20 years down the road.
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