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Exploding the Myths
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Few industries have perpetuated as many engineering misconceptions as have the purveyors of mechanical steam traps. The motivation behind the development of the prevailing mythology is as old as time itself. It has a great deal to do with profit and very little to do with engineering. Competition has become so stiff between manufacturers offering virtually identical equipment that throat-cutting practices have become commonplace. The professionalism of steam trap representatives, as viewed by the engineering community, is probably at a level somewhere between used car salesmen and itinerant peddlers. In such an environment, honor among thieves is the first principle to be abandoned. Truth in advertising becomes a certified oxymoron. Controversy, misconception and the propagation of misinformation is the end result. In this text some of the principal misconceptions will be dragged into the open, kicking and screaming if necessary, to be examined in the light of common sense and current technical reality. Let's take a look at the mythology to determine whether logic and actual user experience can dispel some of the mists ... of steam.
Dickman, F. (1986). Exploding the Myths. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from