Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Into The Machine....


  1. That is a large early 20th century horizontal double-acting air
    or gas compressor with a direct drive synchronous motor. The
    oldest machine of it's type that I worked on was a 1917 Ingersoll
    Rand vacuum pump with a 22 inch piston at the Diamond Almond
    plant in Orange County California.

    Frick was an old refrigeration pump company back at a time when
    Ammonia was used as a refrigerant. Given the quality of this
    image, it could still be in use no matter what it is pumping.

    1. A hundred years ago I could probably tell you exactly how that thing worked. Now, decades later, it's just an artful jumble of metal and moving parts. :)

    2. Okay, I'm impressed. I guessed it was a stationary steam engine.

  2. The left side is the crankcase. The connecting rod is attached to
    something called a crosshead. It is sort of a piston but the cylinder
    is two semi-circles. Turn these two characters ( ) 90 degrees to see
    what I mean. The purpose of the crosshead is to translate the piston
    rod to straight back and forth linear motion.

    The actual piston rod is round and precision ground. The inboard
    cylinder in this case has a packing box to prevent leakage of air
    or gas to the atmosphere. Most modern double acting
    compressors use mechanical seals. This allows the air or gas to
    to be compress on both the inboard and outboard strokes. The things
    sticking out of the distance piece and the outboard end are valve
    assemblies. There will be four more on the far side for a total of
    4 suction and 4 discharge valves. Double acting compressors do not
    use a single horsepower more to compress twice the volume.

    Here is an example of a crosshead. What is not shown is threaded
    hole where the piston is rod is attached. I hated the job of
    handling a 100+ pound wrench and beating the crosshead nut 20
    times with a 20 pound sledge hammer (especially when dealing with
    a 4 or 6 cylinder compressor:)