List of boiler types, by manufacturer

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There have been a vast number of designs of steam boiler, particularly towards the end of the 19th century when the technology was evolving rapidly. A great many of these took the names of their originators or primary manufacturers, rather than a more descriptive name. Some large manufacturers also made boilers of several types. Accordingly, it is difficult to identify their technical aspects from merely their name. This list presents these known, notable names and a brief description of their main characteristics.

See also[edit]


Definitions Points of Interest
  • Admiralty three-drum boiler: the Royal Navy's standardised pattern of three-drum boiler.
  • annular fire-tube boiler: a vertical fire-tube boiler with the tubes arranged radially,[1] such as the Robertson.
  • annular water-tube boiler: a vertical water-tube boiler with the tubes arranged radially, such as the Straker with horizontal tubes, or near-vertically and conically[2] as used by Thornycroft for steam wagons.
  • auxiliary boiler: An auxiliary boiler, on a steam ship, supplies steam that is not used for main propulsion, but is necessary for some part of the essential machinery.[3]
    See also donkey boiler.
    A small boiler may be used as an auxiliary boiler when at sea, or a donkey boiler in port. A composite auxiliary boiler does this, using waste heat from the main engines when at sea, or is separately fired when acting as a donkey boiler. Auxiliary boilers were also present in some locomotives, in particular those used in passenger rail service, where steam was used as heating for the cars being pulled. With the advent of head end power, these steam boilers were phased out, often being replaced with concrete weights.
Thornycroft steam wagon boiler, an annular water-tube with inclined tubes


Definitions Points of Interest


Babcock & Wilcox
Brotan-Defner boiler firebox


Definitions Points of Interest
The term is also applied to vertical boilers with other arrangements of tubes, such as those with horizontal fire-tubes.
section through a Cornish boiler
Vertical flue cross-tube boiler


Definitions Points of Interest
  • De Poray boiler: patented French designs with a secondary combustion chamber to improve combustion efficiency. A vertical form of this uses field-tubes.
  • Doble steam-car boiler:
  • donkey boiler: A donkey boiler is used to supply non-essential steam to a ship for 'hotel' services such as heating or lighting when the main boilers are not in steam, for example, when in port.[3] Donkey boilers were also used by the last sailing ships for working winches and anchor capstans.
    See also auxiliary boiler.
  • du Temple boiler: An early naval water-tube boiler, patented in 1876.[6][9][20]
  • Dublin "economic" boiler: a vertical multitubular return fire-tube design, for model engineering-scale uses.[21]
  • Dürr boiler An early naval water-tube boiler, developed and mostly used in Germany, but also trialled in the British HMS Medusa (1888)[22]


Definitions Points of Interest
Egg-ended boiler
with (wagon boiler behind)


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  • Galloway boiler: a Lancashire boiler fitted with Galloway tubes. Originally these fused the Lancashire boiler's original two flues into a single kidney-shaped flue, with the tubes mounted in the joined section. Later boilers kept the cylindrical flues separate and placed the tubes within them.
  • gothic boiler: an early locomotive boiler, where the outer firebox was particularly large and served as the steam dome, often highly decorated with polished brass. These were popular for early railway locomotives, from 1830 to 1850.[26]
This is another form of boiler frequently described as a "haystack".
  • gunboat boiler: similar to the commonly known locomotive boiler, from steam locomotives.
    A horizontal boiler drum contains multiple fire-tubes and a separate furnace. However, the furnace in a gunboat boiler has no opening at the bottom of the furnace to allow dumping of ash; the furnace is completely water-cooled, similar to a Scotch boiler furnace. These boilers were used in early torpedo boats and gunboats, having low height for protection from enemy gunfire.
Galloway boiler


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  • Johnson boiler: one of the first "modern" classes of high-pressure marine oil-fired water-tube boilers. They have a single steam drum above a single water drum. Their small-diameter water-tubes curve outwards on each side to form a cylindrical furnace. As there is no grate or ashpan beneath, firing must be by oil. Return circulation is by external downcomers. Early versions also used water-walls at each end of the furnace, later ones had plain firebrick walls.[4]


Definitions Points of Interest
  • Kier: (sometimes Keeve or Kieve) an un-fired boiler, a pressure vessel heated by an external steam supply, used for bleaching in dyeworks and processing paper pulp. In use they were continuously rotated by an engine, steam being supplied through a rotating joint in the axle. They were usually spherical, sometimes cylindrical, and some were recycled from old boiler shells.[31]


Definitions Points of Interest
Sometimes small return-tube boilers of just this form are also described as "launch-type".
Lancashire boiler
Locomotive boiler


Definitions Points of Interest
monotube boiler (White steam car)


Definitions Points of Interest
Also known as the "haystack", although not the usual, and even earlier, haystack boiler.[41]


Definitions Points of Interest
  • One Atmosphere Boiler: A compact boiler capable of producing superheated steam to over 1000C at one atmosphere's pressure.[45]


Definitions Points of Interest


Definitions Points of Interest
Robertson boiler


Definitions Points of Interest
Scotch marine boiler


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Yarrow boiler
Yorkshire steam wagon


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