19 May 2010
More on advanced kettle technology
One of the biggest problems with kettles of all sizes is damage done by scale (top picture) and corrosion (lower picture). These pictures show the inside of a locomotive boiler after a period in service. This can eventually stop the boiler from working properly and it could even lead to failure and loss of life. Consequently, boilers have to be inspected and often completely rebuilt - in Britain the period is every seven years. This is one of the things that makes steam locomotive hopelessly uneconomic.
But with the Porta system of water treatment, the inside of the boiler develops a protective coating of oxide and the scale remains in suspension instead of building up as a layer of lime (below). The result, it is claimed, is a reduction in maintenance costs of 90%