Emergency Steam pipes

david freeman
18th July 2010, 12:09
During my time in the 60's I sailed on steam turbine powered tankers of single screw. I have in my dotage a question that may have arisen in the DOT COFC Orals, and wonder if any of you out there old steam men actually had to use the 'As Fitted' to the bulkhead the Emergency Steam Pipes for the HP IP and LP Turbines, with the associated water injection pipes for superheat control, when using the LP Turbine alone, or for the exhaust steam when using the HP Turbine alone. Did any of you have to fit the pipes at sea to make a safe port. I have seen the pipes dreamt the question, but actually never heard or read of such an occassion for a single screw vessel.
The turbines I mainly sailed on where derivatives from PAMATRADA. The steam Plant was usually designed for 440 or 600psi and 600 or 1000 degrees F. I am curious are you? Boilers presented many problems and water quality was essential, but the turbines appear to have been completely reliable.

Supergoods
18th July 2010, 12:46
Not being an engineer, I think we used them on the Botany Bay when we had severe problems with the LP turbine blades in early 1970.
We had already stopped in Cape Town for turbine repairs and had steamed about 4 days homeward bound at 21 knots when the trouble re-ocurred.
Decision was made to carry on with the LP turbine blanked off to Southampton for further repairs as the underwriters would not allow a transit of the English Channel with no stern power available.
All hands and the cook turned to on this one and the mates were allocated some of the blind flanging of the low pressure side.
We got underway again after about 18 hours (If I remember correctly) and could still make 16 knots.
I remember the paint on the condender was blistered from the higher steam temperatures it was subjected to.
We were intended to take a tug astern off the Isle of White but could not make up as our minimum steerage speed was more than the tug's maximum speed so we were escorted only until way up the Solent.
Maybe one of the engineers is on here who can give more technical details.
Ian

kewl dude
19th July 2010, 01:17
Like everything else about the reliability of marine steam turbines, Emergency Steam Pipes and blanks remained bolted where the ships builder stowed them, usually covered by many many coats of paint.

I never experienced any type of problem with main propulsion steam turbines.

My Dad when he was C/E did. The boiler 2 A/E, instead of chemical water testing and using those results to decide what should be dosed, just put the same amount in every day. Eventually it carried over so bad that the turbines were gunked up so bad that they just stopped at sea. Red faces all over the place.

Greg Hayden

Satanic Mechanic
19th July 2010, 01:39
Seen them used once when the LP turbine lost its last row of blades. We actually had a seperate external spray desuperheater for this very purpose.

surfaceblow
19th July 2010, 03:52
My Dad when he was C/E did. The boiler 2 A/E, instead of chemical water testing and using those results to decide what should be dosed, just put the same amount in every day. Eventually it carried over so bad that the turbines were gunked up so bad that they just stopped at sea. Red faces all over the place.

Greg Hayden

I had the same thing happen on a ship I was on. The over treating the boilers lead to stalagmite's in the drum and tubes. At least the deposits did not carry over to the turbine. But we ended up treating the boilers with Evaporator Treatment to clean out the deposits on the tubes. Each time in port. We refilled the boiler with water and evaporator chemicals brought the pressure to 200 psi let it sit for a while than empty the boiler refill and put the boiler back online. The Steam pressure had to be reduced and the gauge glasses turned red.

I was always glad that I never had to remove the emergency pipes from the bulkhead.

david freeman
21st July 2010, 11:45
Good to see the memories and use of steam pipes. A thrown blade or two, again was this due to the quality of the steam (Both by pressure and temperature or-Deposits) or a metalegical problem? Most serious cases I think were in the Institute Marine Engineers mags.

Satanic Mechanic
21st July 2010, 11:48
Good to see the memories and use of steam pipes. A thrown blade or two, again was this due to the quality of the steam (Both by pressure and temperature or-Deposits) or a metalegical problem? Most serious cases I think were in the Institute Marine Engineers mags.


Last stage of the LP turbine, failure caused by water impingement over the years and when one went the rest were following jig time. The condenser had a history of keeping a poor vaccuum.

GWB
23rd July 2010, 13:58
Always found if you looked after the feed water never got problems and boilers never required treatment for build up. also kept condensers in top condition. This reduced the problems.

canada tom
23rd July 2010, 17:51
I never experienced a turbine failuer, but I sailed on T2 tanker (Esso) which had a neat row of patches (vertical) on the FO settling tank caused by an overspeeding turbine which shed it's blades.
Saw a few ruptured boiler tubes which caused steam to belch out through the burners.
When we were preparing the boilers on the Esso Durham for a long spell of in-activity, we were faced with the problem of removing all oxgen. We lit fires (old garbage) in the scum trays and closed up the boilers, but finally decided on WW (water-wedge)
An interesting story about one T2 where the CE,making a demontration, touched a live terminal with his pencil. On discarge from hospital, the superintendent said "What did you do?" The chief demonstrated. On his discharge from hospital, no-one asked for a repeat performance.

canada tom (Scot by birth, Canadian by choice)

chadburn
24th July 2010, 13:24
During my time in the 60's I sailed on steam turbine powered tankers of single screw. I have in my dotage a question that may have arisen in the DOT COFC Orals, and wonder if any of you out there old steam men actually had to use the 'As Fitted' to the bulkhead the Emergency Steam Pipes for the HP IP and LP Turbines, with the associated water injection pipes for superheat control, when using the LP Turbine alone, or for the exhaust steam when using the HP Turbine alone. Did any of you have to fit the pipes at sea to make a safe port. I have seen the pipes dreamt the question, but actually never heard or read of such an occassion for a single screw vessel.
The turbines I mainly sailed on where derivatives from PAMATRADA. The steam Plant was usually designed for 440 or 600psi and 600 or 1000 degrees F. I am curious are you? Boilers presented many problems and water quality was essential, but the turbines appear to have been completely reliable.

Never used them, but were called "Get you home Pipe's"

steamer659
26th July 2010, 00:49
On one my ships, (about two months after I got off on emergency leave)- the dingbat 3 A/E insisted on shifting over and cleaning the main lube oil pump suction strainer ( I expressly prohibited this at full speed unless absolutely required while I was aboard) and air bounded the main lube oil pumps at max ahead RPM...Wiped out the HP Turbine bearings rapidly. The Engineers installed the emergency steam fitting between the ahead steam line and the LP Turbine and were in the process of detaching the HP Turbine coupling when the tugs arrived....

david freeman
26th July 2010, 11:29
Always found if you looked after the feed water never got problems and boilers never required treatment for build up. also kept condensers in top condition. This reduced the problems.

What are you an engineer by, Bloody mindedness. Good for you; PS I was looking at the bottom of your entry
British by birth, scottish by the grace of good and aussie by choice.

mrcanoehead
31st July 2010, 06:54
sailed on vessels in great lakes seen these items on the bulkhead 7 wondered & no one could answer questions, but most important was keeping water chemistry up & avoiding the pitfalls, durring a brief time spent in american navy in 1980's had the misfortune of being on refrigerator cargo ship of theirs (AFS), it came to pass that we had to use our emerg piping as spun bearings in the hp turb, raesons can't remember, no spares on board... go fiure...but politics ensued as to who was at fault... tragic.. as it ended in a bad way is all i'll say, eventually got moving again for port & several in upper level were removed from the ship & their replacements felt it their cause to head hunt the lowr decks for troublemakers, making it so uncomfortable sever jumped ship in port & it was an affair to get the ship moving again for stateside, it was double shifts all the way home, glad to have left there, was only there as a temp, but was everso glad to be given my walking papers miserable peple befor the catrasophie & even more after, drug & aklchol problems ramapnt. so go figure the reason for the break down in the first place. but yes the emergeny piping surprisingly came into good use even though they were covered with paint!!!!

THEDOC
10th September 2010, 14:49
Never had need to use them, but on two separate occasions I made stripping pump exhaust line from a) piece of handrail (removed from a non hazardous area - no one ever noticed).
b) Piece of scaffolding tube (two pieces actually) this time the mate did notice and went apes--t. So I offered to put em back but he could sort out the discharge, end of discussion.

ChiefCharles
10th October 2010, 02:35
The British Argosy lost one of her turbines (in the late sixties if I remember correctly) and had to use the emergency steam pipes. I know the Chief was Jack Lisle, later a BP Super and later still BP Resident Engineer in Singapore in the mid seventies. Does anyone have further info? Was it HP or LP? - Roger

hugh ferrier
8th November 2010, 12:27
Did 18 voyages on the Southern Cross as an engineer in the late50s/early60s, the Staff Chief Eng. was Jack Worden a super chap and a sound engineer he asked me if I had ever fitted the emergency pipes and I told him I had only seen then fitted when I was in the Shipyard installing the turbines in new ships and that they were seldom required.

About two years later I met Jack who was now Staff Chief on the Northern Star the Southern Cross,s Sister ship and he told me that on her maiden voyage the Stb.HP turbine, thrust block and collar overheated and were badly damaged, it took them over 25 hours to fit the pipes and byepass and isolate the HP turbine,three days later the same problem occured to the port Hp turbine this time with the experience from the failure they completed the job in 18 hours.

During the trip from South Africa to Freemantle they removed the HP rotors and crated them up to be flown from Freemantle to Sydney for repair at Cockatoo Dockyard.When they reached Melbourne a rotor was there and was refitted the other one was refitted in Sydney.

About some three weeks later on the homeward after there stop at Tahiti the Stb. HP went again ,this time it took tham about 12 hour to effect the change over, they inspected the Port HP thrust block and this too was showing serious wear and was isolated and they finished the voyage on the two LP turbines

So in one three month voyage the engineers had fitted the emergency steam pipes four times,which must be record ,for on most ships they would have remained unused over the ships life.

The problem was apparently cured by using straight mineral oil rather than the specialised high pressure oil that had been recommend by the turbine manufacturers.

The Northern Star was able to steam at about 16 knots rather than her usual 20 knots. though I wonder what her astern performance was like with only the LP Turbines?

Thought this might be of intrest.

orcades
8th November 2010, 16:56
Hi Dave, After cleaning off x-amount of paint on the flanges and clearing the rubbish out of the pipe we fitted it to the port H.P. [the ahead reaction temp, had shot up and damaged some blades] . It happened going into Aden outward bound for Australia, we started the strip out as soon as we got full away.the job was completed and we carried on to Sydney where a full repair was carried out. That was on the Orcades in the mid 50.s. Can give a blow by blow of the whole repair if interested.