Before we study the subject of boilers in detail, let us briefly discuss such
terms as boilers, steam generators, critical-pressure boilers, low pressure,
high pressure, steam, hot-water-heating boilers, hot-water-supply boilers,
and also some Boiler Code requirements.
A number of these terms arc d irectly related to legal requirements
drawn up by state and city laws. Thus they arc of great importance not
only to boiler operators, operating and mechanical engineers, maintenance
and service people, but also to those in management. These are·
~he people in charge of ( 1) plant safety, (2) fiscal and legal policy affected
by plant insurance, costs, and hazards, and ( 3) the city or state
goveOJments.having jurisdiction over plant equipment.
Q We know that boilers have a great potential for causing loss of life
and damage to property. But in addition to safety, what other knowledge
is required when working with boilers?
A The usc of fired and unfired pressure vessels is rapidly expanding in
industry, commercial buildings, apartment houses, and in every economic
activity around the world. Most of us working with machinery sooner or
later come in contact with fired and unfired pressme vessels . Thus, we
should become familiar with this equipment. Today, control d<.’Vices,
automatic cquipmcn~. com~utcrs, and other sophistical<.'<! items are being
applied to fired pressure vessels.
But do nqt make the mistake of thinking that boilers and other pres·
sure vesst:Y thus automated arc perfectly reliable because they operate
like :l”robOt . On the contrarv, these safetv devices make the inherent
danger even greater when co~plcte dcpcnd~ce is placed on them.
The usc of nuclear reactors is also expanding, but a reactor is also
basically a heated pressure vessel. Thus certain boiler fundamentals also
apply to the construction and operation of reactors. ·.