difference between water tube and fire tube boiler pdf

Difference Between Fire Tube Boiler and Water Tube Boiler, PDF

Amrit Kumar Thermodynamics 4 Comments

Are you looking for the Difference Between Fire Tube Boiler and Water Tube Boiler? So today we will study the Difference Between them and PDF. Here you will get the articles of Mechanical Engineering in brief with some key points and you will get to know an enormous amount of knowledge from It. So If you find this articles helpful, please let us know in the comment box, either if any correction required too, also let us know in the comment box.

Difference Between Fire Tube Boiler and Water Tube Boiler:


The history of boilers began with steam boilers that were used to power transportation, such as those seen in early trains and ships.

Early models like the “Scotch Marine” and similar early fire tube boilers were made from a steel shell with rounded tube sheets that were welded at both ends.

The boiler is like a closed vessel from which steam is used produced from the several methods like in

Fire tube: Water surrounded by a tube and Hot gas flowing in the tube and

Water-tube: Hot gases surrounded by tube and Water flowing in the tube.


A boiler is a closed vessel in which fluid (generally water) is heated up to high-pressure steam.

The boilers are used in power plants, for the generation of steam.

They are mostly used in the power plants where steam turbines are used for the generation of electricity. 

Fire-tube boiler:

Fire-tube boiler is those boiler in which the fire or hot gas is present inside the tubes and water surrounds these fire tubes.

Since fire is inside the tubes and hence it is named as fire tube boiler. The heat from the hot gases is conducted through the walls of the tube to the water.

The examples of the fire tube boiler are the simple vertical, Cochran, Lancashire, Cornish, Locomotive, Scotch marine, and Velcon boiler.

Water-tube boiler:

Water-tube boiler is those boiler in which the water is present inside the tubes and fire or hot gases surrounds these fire tubes.

The examples of water tube boilers are a La-Mont, Benson, Stirling, Babcock and Wilcox, Yarrow and Loeffler boiler.

Difference Between Fire Tube Boiler and Water Tube Boiler:

1.Hot flue gases flow inside the tube and the water outsides the tubes.Water flow inside the turbine and hot flue gases outside the tube.
2.These boilers are generally internally fired.These boilers are generally extra really fired.
3.The boiler pressure limited to 20 bar.The boiler pressure is limited up to 100 bar.
4.Fire-tube boiler has a lower rate of steam production.A higher rate of steam production.
5.Not suitable for larger power plants.Suitable for larger power plants.
6.Involves lesser risk of explosion due to low pressure.Risk of the explosion is higher due to high boiler pressure.
7.For a given power, it occupies large floor space.For a given power, it occupies small floor space.
8.This boiler is difficult to construct.Simple in construction.

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The other 7 differences are:

9.Difficult in transportation.Simple in transportation.
10.They require less skill to operate, as compare to the water tube boiler.They required a skilled operator.
11.They are difficult to repair and cleaning as they are internally fired.They are easy to repair and clean as they are externally fired.
12.They required a large shell diameter. Because the firetube situated inside the shell.They required a small shell diameter.
13.The efficiency of the fire tube boiler is less as compared to the water tube boiler.The efficiency of the water tube boiler is more.
14.The maintenance of this boiler is costly. It requires regular inspection.They are easy to maintain as they are externally fired.
15.Ex: Cornish Boiler, Lancashire Boiler.Ex: Babcock and  Wilcox Boiler.


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About the Author

Amrit Kumar

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Amrit is a Co-founder of Learn Mechanical Portal (Previously owned "Engramritkumar.com"). He completed his diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Acharya Polytechnic Bangalore and also completed his B-Tech from Delhi. Amrit is now preparing for Govt. exams. If you need help, you can ask him regarding any suggestions in the mechanical engineering field. He loves to meet new people.

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