TIMBER PRESERVING PLANT.

TIMBER PRESERVING PLANT.

The rapid destruction of the great forests of this country has forced upon the railroads a very serious problem in connection with the supply and preservation of timber and outdoor construction, especially ties. Since the supply of timber for this purpose will probably decrease as time goes on, many efforts have been directed to perfecting processes to preserve the ties from insects and decay. The Ayer & Lord Tie company, Chicago, has erected a number of large plants for this purpose in different parts of the country and has placed on exhibition at St. Louis, west of the California and South Dakota gold mines exhibits, between Intramural Railway Stations 12 and 13, a model plant, capable of doing commercial work. The timber being treated is placed in airtight cylinders, where it is first subjected to steam under pressure to remove all air from the pores of the wood, after which the air and steam are exhausted. For producing a vacuum, a Deane single cylinder, horizontal, direct acting, wet vacuum is used, in which the piston rod stuffing-box and the piston are submerged. After all vapor and gases are removed, creosote is pumped into the tank and forced into the wood by pressure. The pressure-pump in this equipment is designed to work against 300-pounds pressure per square inch, and is of the Deane duplex type, with double plungers instead of pistons. The advantage of the plunger type of pump is that the packings are on the outside, where leakage is immediately detected. A single cylinder, flywheel air-compressor, having a six-inch steam cylinder, a six-inch air cylinder and a six-inch stroke, is next used to force air into the tank, displacing the creosote and returning it to an elevated storage reservoir. This machine was built by the Clayton Air Compressor works. The air cylinder of the compressor is completely water-jacketed, both on the sides and heads, and the valves and seats are self-contained and removeable. The flywheels are extra heavy, so that the machine will operate satisfactorily at very low speed, if necessary.

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