Steam Engine Parts: 12 Important Steam Engine Parts You Should Know

(Last Updated On: 01/09/2017)
You better know steam engine when you are familiar with steam engine partsSteam engines are used very widely in engineering up to 1930 for generation of power.
Nowadays it is replaced by internal combustion engine. Diesel engine, the petrol engine is the common example of internal combustion engine.
Steam engines are widely used on ships in old days at present they are replaced by diesel engines.
Hence to disclose some more important information about this old machine steam engine, I am giving some details about steam engines parts and their functions.
steam engine parts
  • So, Below are the Important Steam Engine Parts


  • Frame

It is the heavy casting which supports all the stationary and moving parts of the engine and holds them in proper alignment. It requires the foundation to rest upon or engine bed plate fixed on engine foundation.


  • Cylinder

It is the cast iron cylindrical hollow vessel in which the piston moves to and fro under the pressure of steam. Crank side end and an outer end of the cylinder is closed by end covers and made steam-tight.


  • Steam Chest

It is the closed chamber integral with the cylinder. It supplies steam to the cylinder with the movement of a slide valve.


  • Stuffing Box and Gland

This part is fitted on the crank end cover of the cylinder. Its function is to prevent the leakage of steam past the piston rod.


  • Piston

It is the cast iron cylindrical disc moving to and fro in the cylinder under the action of the steam pressure. This part converts heat energy of steam into mechanical work. Cast iron piston rings make the piston steam tight in the cylinder and thereby prevent the leakage of steam past the piston.


  • Cross head

It is the link between a piston rod and the connecting rod. It guides the motion of the piston rod and prevents it from bending.

  • Connecting Rod

It is cast iron part which helps to convert the reciprocating motion of the piston into rotary motion of the crank. Gudgeon pin is used to connect one end of connecting rod to cross head. And its open end is connected to the crankshaft.


It is made from mild steel on which flywheel is mounted on it. It is supported on the main bearings of the engine and it is free to rotate in them.


  • Slide Valve

This valve is fixed on the steam chest. Its function is to admit the steam from steam chest to the cylinder. Slide valve also exhausts the steam from the cylinder at the proper moment. The valve gets to and fro motion from the eccentric fitted on the crankshaft.


  • Main Bearings

This part support crank shaft and fitted in the engine frame known as a main bearing journal.


  • Flywheel

It is made from cast iron or cast steel. Which is mounted on the crankshaft to prevent the fluctuation of engine speed throughout the stroke. Hence it carries the crank smoothly over the dead centers.


  • Governor

To control the speed of the engine according to the load conditions, the governor is used. The speed of the engine is controls either by the quantity or pressure of the steam supplied to the engine.

I hope you will get some idea about  Steam Engine parts.

Besides this information, you are suggested to read something more

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