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Ronaldo47

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Everything posted by Ronaldo47

  1. No doubt the desire to virtue signal their greenness took precedence over fact-checking.
  2. For our second wedding anniversary nearly 40 years ago, my wife and myself managed the four counties ring in a week at Easter. Hard work, and the boat only had a single catalytic gas heater for space heating, with hot water heated by the engine. At least it didn't snow, unlike some of our Easter boating holidays, and we were able to go straight into the Harecastle tunnel .
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  4. Perhaps that is because it is pure iron. The non-iron metallic constituents of modern steel, that, when including recycled steel, can include traces of other metals that cannot economically be removed during recycling, are liable to support electroytic corrosion cells that do not form in pure iron.
  5. I was conentrating on the lines that were commercial successes. Pen-y-Darren was a technical success in showing that simple adhesion worked, but was not a commercial success, costing more to run than horses. Apparently it did inspire Blackett and Hedley to try using adhesion rather than Blekinsop's rack & pinion.
  6. Although the Stockton & Darington is popularly believed to be the first steam railway (that was what my son's junior school books said in the 1980's), it should be more correctly called the first public railway. In fact several private railways had introduced steam locomotive haulage in the preceding decade, and found them cheaper to operate than the then-usual horse haulage. The earliest was in 1811, when Blenkinsop built a steam loco with rack and pinion adhesion for carrying coal from Middleton to Leeds. In 1813 the Wylam colliery started using a steam engine built by Blackett & Hedley that ran on ordinary rails, the original "Puffing Billy". George Stephenson's first loco was the "Blucher", built in 1814 for the Killingworth railway. He supplied several locos to other private colliery lines before getting involved in the public Stockton & Darlington railway in 1825. .
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  19. The problem could be partly down to the fact that thin metal is less able to conduct heat along its length than thick metal. Thus if a part of the surface is covered, the covering will reduce the abiity of the covered portion to lose heat by radiation and convection, and so its temperature will rise to a higher value than similarly-covered thicker-walled metal, which will be able to transfer heat by lateral conduction to adjacent parts that are not covered. Thus the temperature of the covered part of the wall of a cast iron flue should be lower than the covered portion of a thin-walled flue. I have no experience of chimney flues, but I have observed that thin stainless steel saucepans will readily burn stuff like custard, or even potatoes, when used on a gas stove, where the heat comes from localised very hot flames, whereas the thicker-walled aluminium and copper-bottomed stainless steel saucepans never cause burning. I presume this is because their thick metal readily conducts heat lateraly away from the location of the hottest part of the flames to less-hot areas. Conversely the relatively high thermal impedance of thin metal, means that heat is less able to flow laterally from the location of the flames to the cooler areas, meaning that the flame areas impacted by the flames will get much hotter when viscous or sold contents restrict the ability for heat to be removed by convection.
  20. A school friend who became a power station chemist in the days when they were burning coal, told me that the coal they were burning was of such low calorific value that you could not get it to burn in an open fireplace at home. Pulverising it to dust for combustion in a fluidised bed furnace was the only way to get it to burn.This was confirmed officially when an attempt was made to use some in a vintage steam traction engine that was a exhibit at one of their open days, and in unofficial experiments by workers who "borrowed" some to take home to use in their open fires. Thus ash from power station coal is likely to have a different formulation from house coal. We reguarly used to deposit mixed ash from the smokeless fuel and hardwood logs that we burn in the open fire at home, in the flower bed of of our front garden. It doesn't seem to have had any bad effects on the sunflowers we planted in that bed this year, which grew to almost 11 feet tall. Nowadays I bag the ash in the bags that the smokeless fuel is supplied in, first lining the bags with plastic bags originally supplied by our council for recycable stuff, but rendered redundant when they switched to non-disposable bags that are emptied fortnightly. The ash from the locomotives at the steam railway where I help out, is completely different from the ash we get left with at home. The railway ash consists largely of small back lumps about the size of a glass marble, and has a texture similar to coke. It is completely different from the powdery brown fly ash I get from burning wood and smokeless fuel that readily escapes through the inevitable holes and tears in unlined solid fuel bags. I am tempted to bring some home and see if it will burn further at home when used as a bottom layer. When starting a fresh fire at home, I leave any unburnt matter from the previous fire in the grate, add fresh fuel on top of that, and start the fire by using a small pile of wood laid on top of the fresh fuel, a tip I read in a 1920's home encyclopaedia. When the fuel is coal, lighting from the top largely eliminates the smoke that usually results from lighting from below, as the gas emanating from heated coal, has to pass up through a layer of flames and therefore burns usefully instead of passing up the flue unburnt as smoke.
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  22. Nothing quite so spectacular! Just the constant high pitched note that you can sometimes get after hearing a loud bang, like a bad case of tinnitus.
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  25. In the 1970's I used to sometimes drink Old Peculiar but never managed more than 2 pints. On every occasion, my ears started whistling half way through the second pint!.
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