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The Roman water pump : unique evidence for Roman mastery of mechanical engineering

Author: Richard Stein
Publisher: Montagnac : Monique Mergoil, 2014.
Series: Monographies instrumentum, 48
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The study presents the history, use, design, operation and performance of Roman water pump, It appears that these machines were used in small numbers to raise water from Wells; and more commonly, and very importantly, as portable pumps to fight fires. the water pump is attributed to Ctesibius (f. ca. 270 D.C.). The earlier exemples were made in bronze, but the original design was cleverly re-engineered in Roma times  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Richard Stein
ISBN: 9782355180408 2355180407
OCLC Number: 914192778
Description: 377, 163 p. : il. ; 30 cm.
Contents: SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION: Purpose of this study; Focus of this study; Previous scholarship; Contents of this study; Basis of description --
SECTION 2. BACKGROUND: Sources of water and methods of supplying it; Methods of raising water; Historical background: The design of the bronze pump in ancient texts; The concept of the wooden pump --
SECTION 3. THE KNOWN WOODEN PUMPS: Finding --
Distribution: Locations; Survival; Availability of materials; Availability of knowledge; Summary --
Use: Ancient texts; List of ancient texts; Features in ancient texts, relevant to pumps; Discussion of ancient texts; Provenance and use; Fighting fire; Dewatering --
Depth of Wells and lift of water --
Dating: Date of each pump; Summaty of dates; Date of development of the wooden pump; Conclusión on dating --
SECTION 4. DESIGN, INSTALLATION, AND OPERATION OF THE WOODEN PUMP: Design --
Summary of the generic design --
Description: Block; Cylinders; Valve chamber and connecting passages; Outlet passage; Void in the block; Liners; Pistons; Valvers; Inlet valve seats; Delivery pipe; Legs and filters --
Differences in design; Submerged operation; Driving the pump: Use of a rocker; Power; Stroke; Driving linkage --
Installation --
Repair --
Operating cycle --
Performance: General; Configuration of a pump it fixed or portable; Strokem abd diameter of liner; Calculations of performance; Power and forcé produced by operators; Performance of a representative pump of typical dimensions --
Other calculations of performance --
SECTION 5. TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Valves: Construction; Placement; Opening and closing; Chamfers on valve plates; Alignment of valve plate along hinge line; Extra valve; The Castrum Novum bronze pump; Leakage; Cleaning --
Are voids in blocks manufactured?: Uneven flow; Air chambers to smooth the flow; Voids in Roman wooden pumps; Vitruvius'catinum; Conclusión --
Using two valve chambers --
Operation as a suction pump --
Preventing buckling of the driving linkage --
Methods of transmitting power to the pump: General; Pump at the bottom of a well; Fixed installation at ground level; Portable pump --
Number of operators required to drive a pump --
SECTION 6. CONCLUSIONS --
NOTES TO THE GENERAL TEXT --
APPENDICES TO THE GENERAL TEXT: Metal pumps --
References for ancient texts --
Suction --
Calculation of performances --
Comparative performances --
all pumps --
Wells --
Comparative features --
all pumps --
Changes for Stein 2004 --
Glossary --
References --
Reports on individual pumps --
Contents --
Names of pumps --
Salient features of each pump.
Series Title: Monographies instrumentum, 48
Responsibility: Richard Stein.

Abstract:

The study presents the history, use, design, operation and performance of Roman water pump, It appears that these machines were used in small numbers to raise water from Wells; and more commonly, and very importantly, as portable pumps to fight fires. the water pump is attributed to Ctesibius (f. ca. 270 D.C.). The earlier exemples were made in bronze, but the original design was cleverly re-engineered in Roma times to make pumps easier and cheaper to make and mantain, by cutting apertures in a large block of Wood, and making internal spaces pressure proof by plugging their extremities. Eighteen wooden pumps have been found, mostly in Wells, and remains of thirteen survive. This study is based on examination of the remains, and of the record of all eighteen made when they were found; it also considers four other relevant finds, ancient texts, and the known metal pumps. It discusses sources of water and how it was raised, and the concept of water pump, first in bronze, and later in Wood. It describes the finding, location, use, and dating of the known wooden pumps, and explains their generic design, the features of each part, the method of driving the machine, and its operation cycle. Calculations are shown of the posible performance of a pump of typical dimensions, and of the manpower required to drive it. Technical considerations affecting construction, operation and performance are discussed.

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