World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Flash boiler

Article Id: WHEBN0007468022
Reproduction Date:

Title: Flash boiler  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Boilers, AMC (1910 British automobile), Gardner-Serpollet, Du Temple Monoplane, Leidenfrost effect
Collection: Boilers, Steam Generators
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Flash boiler

Diagram of a Serpollet flash boiler. Note the thick wall of the tube, which provides a store of heat

A flash boiler is a type of water-tube boiler. The tubes are close together and water is pumped through them. A flash boiler differs from the type of monotube steam generator in which the tube is permanently filled with water. In a flash boiler, the tube is kept so hot that the water feed is quickly flashed into steam and superheated. Flash boilers had some use in automobiles in the 19th century and this use continued into the early 20th century.


  • History 1
  • Characteristics 2
  • Fuel 3
  • Uses 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Bibliography 7


There is disagreement about the exact definition of a flash boiler. Some writers use the term interchangeably with monotube boiler[1] and there is even use of the term semi-flash boiler.[2] However, the flash boiler is generally attributed to Léon Serpollet who used a flash boiler in the Gardner-Serpollet steam-powered car from 1896. Serpollet's boiler was a low-water-content type with thick-walled tubes to provide a store of heat. Serpollet patented a steam generator in 1888, US Patent 379,421,[3] but this is an early version which differs from the one illustrated above.


Flash boilers are lighter and less bulky than other types, and take less time to raise steam from a cold start. On the other hand they are more prone to overheat, because there is no large reservoir to cool the tubes if the water flow is interrupted or inadequate.


Flash boilers are normally fired by liquid or gaseous fuel because this allows a quick response to changes in the demand for steam. However, experiments with solid fuel firing have been made.[4]


Historically, flash boilers were used in some steam cars, where rapid steam-raising was an advantage. During the Second World War they were used in Royal Navy Steam Gun Boats (SBGs). Modern use is largely confined to model steam boats.[5][6][7]

See also


  1. ^ "FLYING STEAM ENGINES 7". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  2. ^ "History". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  3. ^ "Patent US379421 - LEON SERPOLLET - Google Patents". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Solid Fueled Flash Boiler Experiments, Steve Redmond, Developer of the Month!, outstanding member contributions, Tesla turbines, Phoenix Turbine Builders Club". 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  5. ^ "Creating the flash steam boiler for Hydroplane.AVI". YouTube. 2011-06-18. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  6. ^ "Creating the flash steam boiler for Hydroplane 2". YouTube. 2011-06-19. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  7. ^ "Creating the flash steam boiler for Hydroplane 3". YouTube. 2011-06-25. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 


  • Benson, J.H.; Rayman, A.A. (2000) [1973]. Experimental Flash Steam. TEE Publishing.  

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.