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Old 22nd April 2019, 14:23
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An extract from the Melbourne Argus of Friday 20 February 1903 that I accidentally came across.

Might be of interest to someone?

LONDON, Feb. 10. [1903?]

The series of tests conducted by the
Admiralty to determine the relative merits of
the Scotch and the Belleville boilers in
warships was brought to a conclusion
yesterday by a race between the second class
cruisers Minerva and Hyacinth from Gibraltar
to Spithead.

The Minerva was fitted with Scotch
cylindrical boilers and the Hyacinth with
Belleville boilers. The Minolta won the
race, the Hyacinth breaking down and
abandoning the trial.

It was subsequently ascertained that the
piston rod of the Hyacinth became over
heated, and expanded to such an extent
that a severe strain was put on the tube
which appeared likely to be dislocated. The
engineer promptly shut off steam, and thus
averted a terrible accident. [sic - entire para].

At the time of the accident, which was
23 hours after starting, the Hyacinth was
40 miles ahead of the Minerva.

[The Hyacinth has been unfortunate. In
July, 1901, the tubes of the Belleville boiler
burst while a trial was being conducted
between the two classes of boiler on the
same cruisers. At a second trial in October
of the same year the superiority of
the cylindrical boiler was thought to have
been demonstrated. In July last year the
Admiralty Water-tube Boiler Committee
issued a second report as to the most suit
able type of boiler for use in British war
ships. In an earlier report the committee
recommended that Belleville boilers should
not in future he fitted to any British war
ships, but that in vessels already completed
boilers of this type were to be retained.

The later report was more decidedly adverse
to the Belleville boiler and favourable to
the Babcock and Wilcox type which had
recently been more largely used
in warships. The committee was unable,
however, to recommend a standard boiler
for the navy. It held that the water tube
boiler was less economical than the
cylindrical boiler, and until a more satisfactory
type of water tube was obtainable
it recommended for large vessels and
battleships the cylindrical pattern. The
steam pressure for both water tube and
cylindrical boilers should be 210 lb per
square inch inch [psi]. This, if attained, would have
the double effect of economising coal and
largely increasing the radius of action for
each warship.

Lord Selborne, the First Lord of the Admiralty
subsequently expressed the opinion that
the water tube boiler had a future before it
and that even the Belleville boilers would prove
efficient if properly manufactured. ]

Geoff (YM)
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