Register to reply

Advice request - design a toy steam engine and do a pull event

by Novice One
Tags: advice, design, engine, pull, steam
Share this thread:
Novice One
May18-14, 07:23 AM
P: 1

Please do forgive me if this is inappropriate use of this sight, I'm looking for general advice, any suggestions as to where I could get information and thoughts on the subject are welcome.

I've taken a challenge to build and enter a competition to modify a 'Mamod toy steam engine' and enter a pull event. The engine on one fuel fill will have to pull as much load as possible over a 5' or 60 Inch flat course, with a 5 min time limit. The cylinder assembly, burner and safety vale have to remain standard. I understand that around 2000 RPM is available.

The design apart from the above proviso's can be as outlandish / revolutionary as required. My perception of this is that this is a task around gearing. However I'm thinking in relation to other points and need answers advice and suggestions.

1 - Would this task be better performed with small wheels, larger wheels or tracks
2 - Should I use a small commercial gear box or use Meccano gears
3 - Updating the Flywheel to solid, much heavier, will that give me an advantage / benefit
4 - Should I consider using miniature bearings and lubrication on the drive train
5 - Would there be an advantage to having variable gearing / how could this be achieved?

At this time a competitor has a pull weight of around 30 Kg - on a trolley pulled by the engine, which I consider very interesting.

Again sorry if this is inappropriate

Thanks & Regards

Phys.Org News Partner Engineering news on
Greater safety and security at Europe's train stations
Fingerprints for freight items
On the way to a safe and secure smart home
May20-14, 01:13 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,924
Welcome to PF.

1. What is the surface it needs to grip?
2. Commercial box will be more efficient.
3. Flywheel is needed if single cylinder.
4. Commercial gearbox needs bearings but final axles can be simple shafts in bushes.
5. No advantage in mechanical variable gearing. Maybe torque converter?

If the rules allow, you might consider a capstan or winch to pull the engine along the course.

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Tolerance for gas/steam Engine Mechanical Engineering 1
Novel steam engine General Engineering 14
Why not a gas/steam hybrid engine? General Engineering 15
Steam engine problem Advanced Physics Homework 1
Steam Engine Introductory Physics Homework 10