The way the steam engine works The steam engine used in the locomotive can be identified as an example in order to know how the steam engine works in general. [1]

  • The steam engine in the locomotive consists of several main parts: boiler (water tank), sliding valve, cylinder, steam tank, piston, and steering wheel.
  • Coal is burned inside the boiler’s fire box, which in turn raises the boiler’s temperature in order to heat the water.
  • Steam begins to form when water reaches boiling temperature.
  • The water vapor begins to expand after that, and then travels through the steam pipes towards the steam tank.
  • The sliding valve controls the movement of steam towards the cylinder, resulting in pressure energy that pushes the piston, which in turn leads to the rotation of the steering wheel, and the locomotive moves as a result.

Manufacture of raw material for steam engine Thanks to the invention of the first raw material of the steam engine aeolipile, the Greek inventor Hero of Alexandria in the first century AD, where he worked to manufacture it by using an empty ball, and linking it with a pair of pipes from below, and then heated The pipes from the bottom, which produced steam that was quickly transferred to the ball, and also took two other tubes out of the surface of the ball, which contributed to the discharge of steam coming to it, which in turn led to the movement of the ball in a rotation, although This is the first known raw material to convert vapor into a rotational motion, L However, it was not used for practical purposes until the 17th century. [2]

Steam engine industry Thomas Saffrey was awarded the patent in the steam engine industry, where he worked on a pump to facilitate the pumping of water using steam in 1698, because people were using a very slow and expensive method for extracting water. The horses needed a lot of medical care and nutrition in addition to the need to provide a place to stay. Although the success of this invention, it had some drawbacks, as this invention was able to draw water only from shallow depths, and the steam pressure formed in the tank was It expels water that has been withdrawn. [3]

Steam engine development Thanks to the development of the steam engine to be used practically to the world James Watt, when he brought in 1763 AD steam engine made by the world Newcomen (Newcomen), but this engine needed to make repairs on it so that it can be used later in practice, to succeed after many Experiments in finding a way to do this, as he discovered that to make the engine practical; it must work to keep the cylinder that enters the steam hot, and then cooling to condense steam. [4]


  1. ↑  Mary Bellis (30-4-2017), “How Do Steam Engines Work?”،, Retrieved 2-4-2018. Edited. 
  2. ↑  Elizabeth Palermo (19-3-2014), “Who Invented the Steam Engine?”،, Retrieved 2-4-2018. Edited. 
  3. ↑  Carl Lira, “Brief History of the Steam Engine”،, Retrieved 4-4-2018. Edited. 
  4. ↑  Mary Bellis (19-4-2017), “History of the Steam Engine”،, Retrieved 4-4-2018. Edited. 

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