I am no expert on this subject. I do have the following thoughts and observations. Any system that produces steam, a boiler or a fire under pipes, will soon dive out any oxygen present. Only steam or water would then be present. Since it is the oxygen that produces rust then steam by itself should not rust it. I once toured through a Edison power plant that had old steam engines. I recall noting they had a pressurized automatic oiler that pumped a small amount of oil into the steam going into the cylinder head. This provided lubrication and could also minimize rust. From what I could tell the engine was made mostly out of cast iron. Also, note there were no exotic metals back when the steam engine was popular. So I suspect that Aluminum and stainless steel were not used. Are special oils used in steam engines? If one converts a 4 cycle engine to run on steam how does one separate the water from the oil that eventually gets into the crankcase? Can this be done while it is running? With water and oil mixed in the crankcase will it still adequately lubricate a 4 cycle engine that was designed for gasoline with only oil in the crankcase? In other words what problems does one run into when converting an existing 4 cycle engine into a steam engine?
Offered by Mike.
Offered by Ray.
If in a primitive environment, would one use mineral oil over natural oil? Would one use Non-detergent oil over detergent oil? These are my current thoughts. If you had to make one of these in a primitive environment what would you use? Or maybe an easier question is what principal does it operate on. All I can think of is time with no motion to settle out. Water floating to the surface. Or do they use centrifuge method or something else?
Offered by Mike.
You will have to define primitive environment for me as without knowing the technology level you are describing I am
unable to visualize appropriate solutions. My answers will assume you are planning to maintain at least a late 19th through
early 20th century level of technology. This is the comfort level I am planning to maintain. I believe with access to a certain
minimum level of processed raw material it should be possible to prevent a general slide back to the dark ages and for an
individual or small group to maintain this standard of living for an indefinite period of time. In this environment any of the
modern lubricants of appropriate viscosity would be a godsend and work better than nothing. Mineral oil and naturally
derived oils were used with some success in circumstances similar to pole shift conditions for many different types of
engines and mechanical devices. I am procuring some Gulf Coast Filters to be used to recycle the oils and lubricants I will
be using in my engines and devices. This should allow me to extend their use for years, hopefully long enough to have begun
some sort of petroleum, or coal production that would provide a source of more effective lubricants than those we can
derive from less structured sources. If I must pick an oil, I would go for the mineral oil, it is the most predictable and far
easier to grade than vegetable oils or animal oils. Assuming of course that you have a good source (a coal vein nearby?).
The most effective water/oil separators that I am familiar with use centrifugal motion in conjunction with gravity to separate the water from the oil. Not easily manufactured in a truly primitive environment but possible in a well equipped home workshop if the workshop has some basic machinery. The principle is to use a flow or pressure driven turbine blade to spin the oil and water solution at a high rate of speed, the different densities causes them to separate with the water settling to the bottom of the container where it is drained out.
Offered by Ray.