How did ships dispose of the clinkers?

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How did ships dispose of the clinkers?

Joined: August 17th, 2017, 10:21 pm

July 10th, 2018, 11:08 pm #1

How did they get the clinkers from the boilers to overboard?  Were there different procedures for merchantmen and warships?
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 10:19 pm

July 10th, 2018, 11:18 pm #2

I've read a fictional account of a dive on a sunken liner that mentions entering via a tube built in to do exactly that.  The top would obviously have to be above the waterline.
HMS Glatton's magazine explosion was probably caused partly by spent but still hot ash / clinker piled against the other side of the bulkhead per the report.  That means it was easier to pile it somewhere then move it from there to however it got dumped so that dumping route wasn't handy to the fireboxes.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2014, 2:39 am

July 10th, 2018, 11:27 pm #3

Interesting question, wd........
It ain't THAT far to Tipperary....
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Joined: August 17th, 2017, 10:21 pm

July 11th, 2018, 1:21 am #4

I got to thinking about it in relation to ships in combat. Your trying to get away, and you have to haul the ashes out of (and the clinkers) the firebox so you can get enough coal in to escape.   Funny how thoughts like that pop into my head....
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

July 11th, 2018, 12:33 pm #5

I don't think you would want to take it right out of the fireboxes and dump it.  At that point it would still be somewhat molten and likely to bond to the tube in places.  Dumping it on ashes and/previously cooled clinker until it becomes at least solid makes sense. 

Good question by the way.
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Joined: March 15th, 2004, 8:39 pm

July 13th, 2018, 10:19 pm #6

On many merchant vessels and liners, the clinkers were raked out of the fire pits and then hosed down to cool them.  When cool, they were raked into hoppers which mixed them with seawater and then ejected them out of scuttles near the ship's waterline.

On warships, as the armor belt closed off the waterline and you didn't want large holes leading to the engineering spaces, ash hoists were used to lift ash and clinkers up to the weather deck where the mess could be safely dumped overboard.

I read that they had repaired one on USS Olympia and I found a youtube video showing it in operation:

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Joined: August 17th, 2017, 10:21 pm

July 14th, 2018, 5:35 pm #7

Thanks for that Tony!
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Joined: March 24th, 2011, 11:36 pm

July 15th, 2018, 12:08 am #8

On RN BBs/BCs, there was a fitting shaped like a toilet pan with a lid and a pipe that ran approx 45 degrees up to a hole in the ships side. The ash was put in the hopper, the lid closed and steam pressure/water blew it up the pipe and out the side.

As the earlier poster said, they didn"t put holes in the armour belt (weakened it) so the openings were above the armour.

If you ever see a warship with a horizontal blast of steam exiting the side 2/3rds the way up it is probably ejecting the ashes (like a glorious naval fart 😉).  

This is Queen Mary letting rip:



They are actually quite rare images as the ship is generally under way and someone has needed to be on another ship with a camera at the right moment.

P. S. Roberts anatomy of Dreadnought book has these ash ejectors drawn, and, iirc, the plans of the decks also show ash hoists.
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Joined: August 17th, 2017, 10:21 pm

July 15th, 2018, 8:56 pm #9

Thanks for that Rmor. The pic and description were very informative!
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Joined: March 24th, 2011, 11:36 pm

July 17th, 2018, 9:30 am #10

So a ship with ash ejectors and hoists has redundancy in case one type doesn't work.
I've found there was one ejector per boileroom. I never counted the hoists.

But it does bring up the question of how they emptied the hoists? Do they hoist it up and blow it out the side with the ejectors?

P. S. I did put ash ejector into google and found this from 1910. Apparently on earlier ships the AEs pushed the ash out below the belt where it could contaminate nearby condensor openings. It may be the motivation for moving the AE outlet up high and to blow it out and away from any hull openings:

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... condensers
A moron is in charge of America. Let's make America great again!
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