Bearings Question

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Bearings Question
Posted by SPer on Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:22 PM

Are any surviving large steam locomotives besides 4449 has friction bearings on loco and tender axles

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:06 PM

Don't call them 'friction' - they are 'plain' bearings.  Roller bearings are 'antifriction' but that only makes 'friction' the opposite if you are a Timken salesman.

The three 'early' surviving Reading T1s have some plain bearings, whereas 2124 is 'all roller'.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, April 19, 2018 7:52 PM

I think I see where SPer's coming from, I've heard the term "friction bearing" myself, scratched my head over it too, but I believe it refers only to the old "axle rotating in oil-soaked waste" brass/bronze with babbit metal lining bearings used on freight and passenger cars before roller bearings came into common use.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:24 PM

Here is the story in brief.  (Well, relative brief.)   The bearings that use brasses, whether lined or not, fully circumferential or not, are all 'plain bearings' (or, if you want to be technical and accused of pedantry, 'hydrodynamic bearings') regardless of the method that is used to lubricate them (wicks vs. pads, oil vs. grease, etc.)

The actual 'bearing' in all of them is a comparatively thin film of lubricant, usually oil or the oil component of a grease, compressed to a wedge and then to a pressurized film between the face of the brass and the steel axle journal, holding them apart.  There are very good reasons why the crown and liners are made of brass, bronze, or white metal: any asperities in the lubricant that might break the film and cause scratching between two hard faces will instead embed in the softer material to the point the film forms over them.  This is a different mechanism from slow-speed bearings, in clocks for example, where this process only turns the softer material into a comparatively effective lap that preferentially eats the journal surfaces.

An important thing to remember is that once the hydrodynamic film has formed and come up in temperature to reasonable viscosity, the plain bearing generally has less resistance to motion than a roller or ball bearing of equivalent carrying capacity, and of course is less prone to damage by spalling or breaking should any dirt get into the tribology (or shock or jerk be communicated to the essentially line contacts between rollers and races).  The catch, of course -- one of the reasons roller bearings with M942 lube became standard on interchange cars -- is that the lube film has to remain full and intact.  Hairs from the waste or pad, or inadequate oil, will rapidly cause the bearing surface to go into thermal runaway with the result being an infamous hotbox (or worse).

Now, it was recognized no later than the 1840s that using rolling elements between the bearing and journal would give all the good effect of the Winans 'friction wheel' (which of course was an antifriction wheel - see White if you aren't familiar with it) -- the problem was that the same poor materials science that made the Winans design short-lived also affected the strength of the balls or rollers used as bearing elements... and a roller bearing with deflicted rollers becomes the most friction-heated device of all, comparatively fast and with comparatively little warning.

Now, when metallurgy permitted, the Timken people developed the principle of the tapered roller (as opposed to SKF, which uses barrel-shaped rollers to give self-alignment, the reason these make better driving-box bearings on many large modern steam locomotives) and they marketed their system as 'antifriction bearings' (which of course they are).  The problem was that it was too easy to then allow, or portray, the alternative as the "antonym" of antifriction... which the undiscerning will swallow as 'friction'. 

Don't you be undiscerning.  There is no such thing as a 'friction bearing' as an alternative to rollers or any other bearing tribology.  And if you think hydrodynamic lubrication is inferior to rollers... consider what is used in any practical internal-combustion motor for internal rotating or variably-loading contact, and what historically happens except in very unusual and expensive circumstances when folks get carried away and spec roller or ball bearings there.

By extension, consider the system used by Union Pacific for reliable high-speed rod lubrication on the later FEF classes, specifically as an alternative to large-eye narrow-section Timken roller rods.  Pay careful attention to the floating bronze bushing with all the holes drilled in it to serve as grease cellars of a sort.  While this isn't quite as good at 120mph as the high-dynamic lightweight rods and very thin rollers, it isn't nearly as subject to dramatic bending failure at speed, either.  And since a few hp loss in the rod bearings isn't of that much moment (pun not intended) but reliable management of clearances in what may involve substantial differential heating of parts of rods is, the experiments in China and elsewhere, in the 1950s, to implement the principle of full pressure oiling to rod bearings takes on substantial importance.  Why it is not far more utilized than it is is something of a mystery to me.

As a note: use of roller bearings on trailing trucks of steam locomotives came comparatively late, as the ashpan heat and dirt made oil lubrication a rather uncertain thing and the advantages of rollers relatively slight there.  Likewise tender trucks exposed to spilled and perhaps caustically-treated water, or worse to frequent spray from track pans, are not going to be happy with rollers, and the substantial first cost of those bearings argues against them if not needed for high-stress alignment.  The advantages on driving axles are substantial and fairly immediate, but short-lived indeed if you don't use Franklin self-adjusting wedges (or English-style very frequent maintenance, which seldom pays for itself in North American practice) to keep everything in tram.  Hence the fun with the early T1s drinking the Hennessy Lubricator Kool-Aid ... and yes, as long as you keep those things full and adjusted they give good practical results.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, April 27, 2018 5:43 PM

Hot stuff Wanswheel!  Looks like you're back with us!

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, April 27, 2018 10:04 PM

Firelock76

I think I see where SPer's coming from, I've heard the term "friction bearing" myself, scratched my head over it too, but I believe it refers only to the old "axle rotating in oil-soaked waste" brass/bronze with babbit metal lining bearings used on freight and passenger cars before roller bearings came into common use.

 

 

I also, have heard and used "friction bearing" for the old, non-roller bearing axles.  And I will probably continue to use the term.  So it's not correct.  Many things, especially in railroading, use simplified or archaic terms.  The thing is, those that use the stuff in the field know what a person is talking about.

Take "triple valve" for instance.  The last true triple valve was outlawed years ago.  The correct term is "control valve".  I'm sure in the higher and more technical echelons of railroading, control valve is used.  Out in the field, however, you'll hear "triple valve" from the likes of train crews, dispatchers, and even carmen.

Jeff 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 28, 2018 9:40 AM

Who knows how things get the names the do, and how they stick?

Anyone remember the old liquid-process copiers from 30+ years ago?  The development process involved two components, developer and toner.  When the dry-process copiers were invented one of those components was eliminated, specifically the toner.  However, the name "toner" stuck to the dry powder that's loaded into todays machines, which should be called developer.  Makes no sense, but that's the way it is.

Take it from one in the trade.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, April 28, 2018 10:43 AM

A failed and/or overheated roller bearing is still called a "hot box", even though it is not square or rectangular in shape.  And though their official name is "Wayside Inspection System" everyone still calls them "hot box detectors". 

Names stick around, several of our yards still have a "steam track" or "icehouse lead" even though it's been decades since everything ice or steam related was removed. 

I've always called them "plain bearings", but have heard the term "friction bearing" used too.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 28, 2018 4:50 PM

And I'm sure many of us know, or have known, members of the World War Two generation who still call refridgerators "iceboxes."

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Posted by AgentKid on Saturday, April 28, 2018 6:25 PM

SD70Dude
Names stick around, several of our yards still have a "steam track" or "icehouse lead" even though it's been decades since everything ice or steam related was removed.

I really enjoyed both Jeff's and dude's comments.

Before the Calgary Herald became the last user of an industrial lead a couple of years ago, and the lead removed, the switch was always referred to on the radio as "Titian" a station in the ETT's that disappeared back in the 60's.

In our house, growing up, there were any number of expresions my Dad used from work. For instance, when he wanted to tell us when to be ready to drive one of us to the many places dads have to drive their kids, we were told the ride was "supplied for 8:15".

Traditions on the railway work the other way as well. Alyth was opened in 1899 to replace the original "Calgary" yard, and caboose maintainance was moved as well. What had been the original Caboose Track always kept that name. During the annual slowdown before the fall grain rush would start, spare cabooses would be moved from Alyth up to the Caboose Track, but what was even more amazing, is that according to various sources, there were cabooses parked on that track every year unitil caboose use ended in 1990. Apparently, that track was never used for anything else, it was a violation of an unwritten rule, or a law of nature, or something.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, April 28, 2018 6:58 PM

Firelock76
When the dry-process copiers were invented one of those components was eliminated, specifically the toner. However, the name "toner" stuck to the dry powder that's loaded into todays machines, which should be called developer.

According to Xerox patent history, when copy technology went from wet to dry process the "toner" was the colored powder component of the "developer" (see the Walkup patent, 2638416, and Lehman 3336905) and it is not entirely surprising to me that when separate carrier was no longer needed in a two-part developer, and 'toner' was the only material needed to develop the electrostatic image prior to fixing, the industry distinguished it from earlier developer.  I will certainly grant you that, semantically and historically, 'developer' is a better word for what the stuff does.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 28, 2018 8:03 PM

Our copier will display "low on Toner" and "replace Toner cartridge". 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, April 28, 2018 8:37 PM

On a digital LCD screen no doubt.

Does it have a touchscreen?

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 28, 2018 9:05 PM

Oh yes, multiple digital screens and its all touch. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, April 28, 2018 11:36 PM

CN buys those giant new Xerox machines for all the yard offices, with touchscreens and all the bells & whistles.

They usually last about 4-5 months before being replaced, due to the sheer amount of paper we go through.  One of the service guys said that in a month one of CN's machines will go through the same amount of paper a typical office one would see in a year.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 29, 2018 12:04 AM

Ours are on a 2 year lease and get very heavy use. The one in the Mine School building supports 4 different programs each with many multiple courses and a half dozen profs, plus the students. 

It does everything of course and rumour has it it sings God Save The Queen at sunrise. I also believe it tracks my every movement.

Now this is true...just this past week I navigated onto a screen I had never seen or used before, trying to fiqure it out and there in the corner along the bottom is my name! Blurted out "whaaaaat" out loud. We have a code for departments to log in but not by individual name. How did it know who I was! That thing is watching and recording my every move. 

Our resident specialist on the Forum is Firelock...I imagine he has seen it all and knows whats up. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 29, 2018 10:42 AM

How it got your name I'm not sure, unless you've got a resident IT person who input it while he was setting up the machine for the different departments.  This is a feature a lot of machines have now for keeping track of "who's doing what,"  that is, checking that your copying/printing is being done for business purposes and not for "extra-curricular" stuff like printing car wash flyers, church bulletins, yard sale notices, and so forth.

Singing "God Save The Queen" in the morning when no-one's looking?  I doubt it.  More than likely it's singing  "Kimigayo"  at it's first glimpse of  "The Rising Sun."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2Vanclvh3Q  

Machine getting a lot more use than anyone thought?  No surprise to me.  It's a common mistake many businesses and schools make when purchasing (or leasing) a copier.  Underestimating how much use the box is going to get, then overestimating what it's capable of handling.  Only about 75% of the places I go to seem to get it right.

And those "smart phone" type touch screens?  None of my customers seem to like them very much.  My colleagues and I usually set them up for what's called "Classic" choices, i.e. make the "Classic" selection and the traditional copier-printer-scanner-fax menus folks are used to show up on the screen.  I think they're pushing the technology just a little too fast for the end users on these things. 

And a "paperless society?"  Forget it!  Not going to happen in our lifetime, not from what I see.  

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 29, 2018 11:33 AM

Yes thank you Firelock. As long as Governments, Lawyers and everything else is still around we will never go paperless. A few hot shot young profs touted their paperless offices and classrooms to disasterous results. Of course when they leave the school or their contract is up over the summer IT comes in and wipes their 'puter clean and then there is bupkis for the next guy. It's so dumb. They do it in the belief they are saving the forests or something and thus think they are cool.

You are right about IT...thats a black hole, information goes in, nothing comes out and those guys are the 'men in black'. No sense of humour either. Yeesh. We have 4 full time plus a Director. They grunt a lot. 

I officially complained once at a meeting with the big bosses that those guys could at least say "hello" or "good day". It worked!

Since my laptop talks to the copier I suspect those 2 conspire together, along with IT. 

Hey anyone remember carbon paper for typewriters in order to make copies as you typed? At least it's not digital, on line or being recorded as you go. 

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, April 29, 2018 1:25 PM

Miningman
 

Hey anyone remember carbon paper

I sure do, we still use it at work.  The rules state you have to have multiple copies of clearances and some other authorities, and they have yet to put photocopiers or fax machines in the locomotives.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 29, 2018 1:53 PM

Wow...yes of course! Thanks Dude. We still use it in Lab notebooks as well. 

Perhaps its one of those manual (primitive) easy things that will never go away. 

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Posted by AgentKid on Sunday, April 29, 2018 3:05 PM

Miningman
anyone remember carbon paper

Strange you should mention that. Earlier this winter I found a half dozen or so sheets I had found when we were cleaning out an election campaign office I was working at in the early 90's. My nephews were small and I though one day they might be interested in such old technology.

But that day never came, and when I found them while looking for something else, I found out they were probably too dried out to ever work again. I should have put them in a Ziploc bag.

Clearance forms: I remember the pads of them we had at Irricana. You know how preprinted forms would have 19__ in the date section. These forms were designed right at the turn of the 20th Century and they had 1___. I wish we had saved some of those.

Bruce

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 29, 2018 3:59 PM

Carbon paper!  Holy smoke, I haven't thought about that stuff in years! The last time I used it was (I think) in college when I was typing a term paper and wanted to keep a copy for myself.  Only did it once, trying to erase the mistakes from the original AND the carbon copy was too much.

Hey youngsters, wonder where the term "carbon copy" comes from?  Now you know!

And does anyone remember "eraseable bond"  typewriter paper?  Is it even made anymore?

And let's not forget mimeograph with it's wonderful aroma!

Reminds me, when I started repairing copiers I was in an office trying to get a little more life out of a cranky, worn-out machine.  A young woman walked past me saying  "Oh, I HATE that thing!"  An older woman walked past her and said "Honey, that's because YOU don't remember what mimeograph was like!" 

Miningman, I know what you mean about grumpy, surly IT guys.  Seems like with a few exceptions they all seem to have come out of the same mold.  Maybe they're frustrated that they're stuck "wherever" with us mere mortals instead of working for Bill Gates in "Computer Valhalla?"  And of course if there's a problem it's never their network!

On the other hand, our IT guy in our local office was an absolute prince! If you had a problem he couldn't do enough for you to fix it.  The only time he'd get annoyed was if you had a problem that was your fault and you tried to BS him.  As long as you were honest "Oh man, I screwed up this time!" he wouldn't critisize you or make fun of you he'd just get to work and fix it. Then of course the "powers-that-be" decided to downsize the office and he was let go.  The stupid SOB's.  They gave him a generous separation package, but still...

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Posted by jeffhergert on Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:57 PM

Carbon paper?  Why I use it in my basement when operating my model railroad and needing to make multiple copies of a train order.  I place it between the sheets and then put it in my typewriter.

Yes, I do have a Kodak printer down there.  But only a few stations on my modeled portion are authorized to duplicate train orders mechancially.  

Jeff 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, April 29, 2018 10:43 PM

This article is from a few years ago, but I doubt much has changed.  The last Canadian manufacturer of carbon paper:

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.thestar.com/amp/news/gta/2013/02/07/copy_this_north_yorks_formmate_is_the_last_supplier_of_carbon_paper_in_canada.html

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by AgentKid on Sunday, April 29, 2018 10:44 PM

jeffhergert
But only a few stations . . . are authorized to duplicate train orders mechancially

WowThat is really getting high tech.

I can still remember Dad talking at the time, and even years later, about how the CPR allowed Dispatchers to use ballpoint pens on trainsheets instead of requiring fountain pens. That change must have happened about 1970 or so.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 29, 2018 10:58 PM

The big innovation here wasn't paperless document processing a la Xerox, it was the invention of carbonless forms, which at a stroke substituted a few mills' worth of chemicals for messy interleaved sheets (most of which were discarded virtually unused) and not incidentally allowed more clean copies to be made at a time in typewriters or impact printers...

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Posted by cx500 on Sunday, April 29, 2018 11:19 PM

If I remember correctly, the carbon paper used when writing train orders was carboned on both sides.  Office carbon paper was one sided.

There was mention of the mimeograph, whoch had purple ink.  A few favoured train order offices (mostly at terminals) had access to them to produce the large quantities of bulletin slow orders that would be used during the month.

I also had the pleasure(?) of using a Gestetner, although I can't offhand remember what for.  That was black ink, and produced a much better result.

John

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Posted by AgentKid on Sunday, April 29, 2018 11:25 PM

cx500
If I remember correctly, the carbon paper used when writing train orders was carboned on both sides. Office carbon paper was one sided.

The carbon paper we had at Irricana about 1960 was one sided. I remember learning how to put the carbon paper the right way about that time.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 30, 2018 12:48 AM

Firelock must be in heaven or shaking his head ...a whole thread about copiers and copying! This is kind of fun. 

Dude- really liked that link to the last manufacturer of carbon paper up here. There has to be a market for it if you are still using it on the Railroads. Some receipt books still have carbon paper as well. It's definitely handy dandy that way. 

Agent Kid--love those Irricana stories. In the 50's the President of the CPR would hold up the typed original and the carbon copy to the light and if they did not match up perfectly the poor secretary would have to redo it. You would think the President of the CPR had better things to do than nitpick around the office. 

Not quite sure what could replace carbon paper copying as it is used today..it is still very useful in certain applications. As Overmod pointed out there are carbonless options.  However...anyone still using a typewriter in a 'real functional' setting, well thats sort of kooky. I do not miss that racket one bit. 

I had an electric one in the early eighties that had a memory and could store entire multiple pages and type out a copy on demand with the push of button. I didn't mind that one! 

 

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