Every Industry has its own unique terminology. Sometimes these terms can be confusing so we thought a boiler dictionary would be helpful. The following definitions can be found in a number of texts.
Glossary of Boiler Terms and Definitions
Absolute pressure – The pressure above zero pressure, equal; to gauge pressure plus atmospheric pressure.
Acid cleaning – The process of cleaning the interior surfaces of steam-generating units by filling the unit with a dilute acid accompanied by an inhibitor to prevent corrosion and by subsequently draining, washing, and neutralizing the acid by a further wash of alkaline water.
Acidity – Represents the amount of free carbon dioxide, mineral acids, and salts (especially sulfates or iron and aluminum) which hydrolyze to give hydrogen ions in water; is reported as milliequivalents per liter of acid, or ppm acidity as calcium carbonate, or pH, the measure of hydrogen ion concentration.
Agglomeration – Groups of fine dust particles clinging together to form a larger particle.
Air-atomizing oil burner – A burner for firing oil in which the oil is atomized by compressed air which is forced into and through one or more streams of oil, breaking the oil into a fine spray.
Air-fuel ratio – The ratio weight, or volume, of air to fuel.
Air heater or air preheater – Heat-transfer apparatus through which air is passed and heated by a medium of higher temperature, such as the products of combustion or steam.
Air purge – The removal of undesired matter by replacement with air.
Air vent – A valved opening in the top of the highest drum of a boiler or pressure vessel for venting air.
Alkalinity – The amount of carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides, and silicates or phosphates in the water; reported as grains per gallon, or parts per million as calcium carbonate.
Allowable working pressure – The maximum pressure for which the boiler was designed and constructed; the maximum gauge pressure on a complete boiler; and the basis for the setting on the pressure relieving devices protecting the boiler.
Amplitude – In ultrasonic testing, the vertical pulse height of a signal, usually base to peak, when indicated by an A-scan presentation.
A – scan – In ultrasonic testing, a method of data presentation on a CRT with the horizontal baseline indicating distance or time and the vertical deflections from the baseline indicating amplitude of the ultrasonic reflection.
Atomization – The process whereby a volume of liquid is converted into a multiplicity of small drops. The principal goal is to produce a high surface area to mass ratio so that the liquid will vaporize quickly and thus be susceptible to combustion.
Atomizer – part of an oil gun which breaks up the fuel oil flow into tiny particles by both mechanical means the use of an atomizing medium. The oil and atomizing medium mix together in the atomizer and then flow to the oil tip to be discharged into the furnace.
Attemperator – Apparatus for reducing and controlling the temperature of a superheater vapor or of a fluid.
Audible sound – Vibrations in a gas, liquid, or solid with components falling in the frequency range of 16Hz to 20Hz.
Automatic lighter or igniter – A means for starting ignition of fuel without manual intervention. Usually applied to liquid, gaseous, or pulverized fuel.
Available draft – The draft which may be utilized to cause the flow of air for combustion or the flow of products for combustion.Sources:
Sources for this listing were found in the ASME Boiler Codes, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York; ABMA; Metals Handbook, American Society for Metals; ASHRAE Handbooks; and Boiler Operator’s Guide by Anthony L. Kohan, The John Zink Combustion Handbook, Charles E. Baukal, Jr., editor.