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Steam & Excursion > Wilson Blow-off separator, when new


Date: 07/29/20 07:32
Wilson Blow-off separator, when new
Author: wcamp1472

The Wilson blow-off ( blow-down)
Separator was a centrifugal, fin directed ‘mechanical’, solids separation device.

The water from the mud-ring discharge valve was directed to the centrifugal separation ‘cannister’

The ‘can’ held a fixed circular ‘cage’ made of vertical fins designed to keep heavier matter from escaping
up the large, center mounted, top discharge port. The fin- can had a bottom , circular plate, separated off the ‘floor’ of the ‘can’, so that only steam was allowed through the
ring of vertical fins.. The fin-assembly ends about 1 or 2” off
the bottom disk of the separator—-
Thus, the only way out the top of the separator can, is through the
fin-cage... if ‘stuff’ is getting out the top, there is reason to determine the cause...

By design, the Wilson separator handled the violent, whirlpool-like
stream of boiler water...

The boiler-connected drain pipe
enters the separator base at a tangential angle, swirling the water/
steam/solids mix—- also at the base of the separator, is the drain pipe leading to the ground—- where the water and the solids were to be directed...

In the separator can, on top of the boiler, the heavier matter was slung against the circular wall, eventually giving-up separated-steam out the top vent, and swirling the water/solids sludge until they blew out, and down to trackside.

If the internal vanes become worn,
as they will in that environment,
( or the become encrusted with lime and water treatment chemicals) the vanes will NOT aid in the violent centrifugal separation process.

Eventually the violent swirling will
wear-away the vane-cage altogether... when that happens
all the boiler effluent gets blown out the top of the now, non-functioning
Wilson device.

To properly restore the separator to fully functional operation, the entire separation ‘canister’ should be
Replaced...

The removed canister can be reclaimed by replacing the fins and top of the canister (as an assembly),...

In bad-water districts, the separation fins and entire canister
should be changed-out on a regular
basis —— determined by frequency of use. The approximation of the new fin-assembly is easily replicated, in today’s world..

When properly operating, the separator performs very well.
It does a superb job as it’s designrf to do—- but when worn and encrusted separator vines are no longer functioning, they need renewal..

Which is more effective, vane renewal, or all new piping and
Non-separated effluent blown at high pressure, onto the R-O-W,
or into the hapless bystanders?

Now you know.

W.

Not proofed, yet..

Posted from iPhone



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/20 09:16 by wcamp1472.



Date: 07/29/20 07:53
Re: Wilson Blow-off separator, when new
Author: HotWater

Wes,

Two points:

1) The Wilson Blow-Down Separator system (Sludge Remover) was VERY effective on both the UP 844/8444/844 and 3985, as operated around the system. Both the Engineer and Fireman had air operated activating valves in order to "blow-down" either side of the lower portion of the firebox. The sludge discharge chute was located just under the Engineer's cab, so that he could easily look down and view the condition of the "malted milk" coming out of the chute. The worse the water taken from wayside fire hydrants, the more often the Engineer and Fireman had to be blowing down while enroute. The system was very effective in keeping most of the solids removed from the inside of the boilers.

2) The Southern Pacific had a different design system for blowing down the lower portions on either side of the firebox, which was much simpler but just as effective. Both the Engineer and Fireman had a manually operated lever, which opened the blowdown valve on his side, and the discharge was piped through a series of connecting pipes then downward into the big long "blowdown muffler", which discharged everything directly onto the roadbed. Since there was no "separator" device mounted up top, there was never any mineral deposits dropped onto the top of the boiler jacket nor cab roof.



Date: 07/29/20 08:43
Re: Wilson Blow-off separator, when new
Author: wcamp1472

I’m just sayin’ ....

That IF the separator is allowing the solids, and water out the top... the best remedy is to examine the interior of the separator and make the necessary changes so that it’s functionality, as a separator,
Is restored...

Coating the top of the engine and train with lime and water treatment is a symptom...

You could do a separator ‘change-out’ on a 5-year basis, to coincide with the 15-year timetable ( 5-years flue time, accumulated over a 15-year maximum, for interior boiler-shell Examination..

W.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 07/29/20 10:11
Re: Wilson Blow-off separator, when new
Author: HotWater

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I’m just sayin’ ....
>
> That IF the separator is allowing the solids, and
> water out the top... the best remedy is to examine
> the interior of the separator and make the
> necessary changes so that it’s functionality, as
> a separator,
> Is restored...
>
> Coating the top of the engine and train with lime
> and water treatment is a symptom...

Not really, as the steam that exits vertically from the center of the "turbine like" separator housing VERY saturated, and thus still contains some small bits of solids, that do not all get spun-off and down to the sludge discharge chute.


> You could do a separator ‘change-out’ on a
> 5-year basis, to coincide with the 15-year
> timetable ( 5-years flue time, accumulated over a
> 15-year maximum, for interior boiler-shell
> Examination..
>
> W.


 



Date: 07/29/20 13:23
Re: Wilson Blow-off separator, when new
Author: LarryDoyle

A picture is worth ........

-LD




Date: 07/30/20 10:26
Re: Wilson Blow-off separator, when new
Author: Hillcrest

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> wcamp1472 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I’m just sayin’ ....
> >
> > That IF the separator is allowing the solids,
> and
> > water out the top... the best remedy is to
> examine
> > the interior of the separator and make the
> > necessary changes so that it’s functionality,
> as
> > a separator,
> > Is restored...
> >
> > Coating the top of the engine and train with
> lime
> > and water treatment is a symptom...
>
> Not really, as the steam that exits vertically
> from the center of the "turbine like" separator
> housing VERY saturated, and thus still contains
> some small bits of solids, that do not all get
> spun-off and down to the sludge discharge chute.
>
>
> > You could do a separator ‘change-out’ on a
> > 5-year basis, to coincide with the 15-year
> > timetable ( 5-years flue time, accumulated over
> a
> > 15-year maximum, for interior boiler-shell
> > Examination..
> >
> > W.
>
>

As I understood the modification, it was the vertical steam discharge that was "captured" and plumbed down to the roadbed rather than venting unrestricted into the atmosphere (and onto the surrounding shiny black parts). Would this create a restriction and lower the efficiency of the Wilson Separator you think? Is that what you're getting at?

Cheers, Dave



Date: 07/30/20 10:54
Re: Wilson Blow-off separator, when new
Author: wcamp1472

The Wilson separator 'can' allowed for the full pressure,  high-flow to 
be safely expanded to atmospheric  pressure, while whirling the 
heavier effluent materials out the trackside discharge pipe.  

How it's arranged now, I have no  idea.  

On the Reading T-1s, 4-8-4s, there was a single ( manually operated) mud-ring blowdown
valve installed at the bottom of the throat sheet, over the center of the frame.
 It's discharge was also centrally mounted, down low, blowing back, under the ashpan discharge....
towards the tender trucks.  No separator was used , just a ( expansion? ) rectangular box...open at the back end ...

Typically, the water sources back East, had way less 'dissolved-solids'  ( calcium & related salts ), than what they
have to contend with, out West.

W.

W.

 



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