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What is Babcock & Wilcox Boiler? Its Parts & Working Principal. Learn Here....!

In this article we will learn about Babcock and Wilcox Boiler. Main parts of Babcock and Wilcox Boiler, working, application, advantages and limitation. Babcock and Wilcox boiler is used to generate high pressure steam,So let’s begin our journey towards Babcock and Wilcox boiler.

What is a Babcock & Wilcox boiler? Its Parts & Working Principal. Learn Here....!

What is Babcock and Wilcox Boiler
water is flowing through the tube so babcock and wilcox boiler is a water tube boiler. It is a Horizontal drum axis Boiler so that babcock and wilcox boiler is also called longitudinal drum boiler water circulation is carried out naturally. It consist of many tube to carry water. It is stationary can able to produce high pressure steam. solid fuel can be used in the furnace to produce steam. It was discovered in the year 1967 by George Babcock and Stephen Wilcox . it is invented by Babcock and Wilcox. boiler is named as babcock and wilcox boiler.

Working Principal
Hot flue gases produced by burning of solid fuel is come in contact with tubes containing water, the heat exchange between flue gases and water take place. water absorb heat from flue gases and convert itself into steam. and this produced steam is finally supplied to desired application through main steam stop valve of the boiler.

Main Parts
The various main parts of Babcock and Wilcox Boiler are as follows

parts of Babcock and Wilcox Boile
Image Source : Google | created by Magic Mark 
1. Steam Drum: Steam drum is a one type of reservoir used to store water and produced steam. it is located in horizontal position.

2. Down Take Header: It is used to connect rear end of steam drum to water tube. the function of down take header is to supply water from steam drum to water tube.

3. Up Take Header: It is used to connect water tube to front end of steam drum. the function of up take header is to supply steam produced in water tube to steam drum.

4. Water Tubes: Water tube are simply circular tube which can carry water. during flow of water through water tube, It can absorb heat from flue gases and convert to steam. The water tube are placed in inclined position at an angle of 10-15 degree. Water tubes are not completely filled by water, so that water and steam can easily separated.

5. Baffle Plates: Baffle plates are located in between water tubes. the function of baffle plate is to direct hot flue gases so that flue gas are in contact with water tube several times. and maximum heat transfer take place. It help quick generation of steam.

6. Fire Door: It is a opening which is used to inject solid fuel in the furnace.

7. Grate: Grate is the part of furnace which is used as a base on which the burning of the solid fuel takes place.

8. Mud Collector: A mud collector is provided at the bottom of down take header and used to collect the mud present in the water.

9. Feed Check Valve: it is a valve which is located on a drum and used to fill water into the drum.

10. Damper: Damper is operated by chain which used to regulates the flow of air in the boiler.

11. Furnace: The furnace is located under the uptake-header in which the solid fuel actually burnt.

12. Super Heater: Super heater is located upper side of the water tube. Super heater is connected to the drum at one end and other end is for further work. first steam is flows from steam drum to the super heater tube, where steam is absorb more heat from the flue gases and steam become superheated. later this superheated steam is supplied to required application for the work.

13. Water level Indicator: it is the indicator which shows level of water in the drum.

14. Inspection Door: Inspection door is the opening to clean and inspect the boiler.

15. Pressure Gauge: It is used to measure the pressure of steam within the drum of bolier.

16. Safety Valve: It is a valve which protect the boiler from damage. If the pressure of steam in the drum pass the particular safety level. safety valve automatically opens and releases the extra steam in the atmosphere. Due to such steam release, the pressure with the boiler get decreases and pressure fall below safety pressure level.

Working of Babcock and Wilcox boiler

Video Source : Youtube | created by Magic Mark 

  • The Boiler drum is filled with water. The drum is connected to water tube. the front end is connected to up take header and rear end is connected to down take header. all water tube are connected in series.
  • Water is flowing in water tubes through down take header.
  • The solid fuel is feed through the fire door and burnt over a grate to produce hot flue gases.
  • These hot flue gases flows in upward direction between the water tube.
  • The baffle plate are provided to guide the flue gases and ensure proper heating of water. 
  • By absorbing heat water flowing through water tube get converted into steam. 
  • This steam moves toward the up take header and collected over the water level in the drum.
  • Anti Priming pipe is provided to separate steam from water. and dry steam is further supplied to superheater tube. this convert saturated steam into superheated steam. this steam can be taken out fron steam stop valve. 
  • The ash produced by burning of fuel is collected to ash pit. 
  • The smoke is allow to escape from the chimney.
  • Damper is provided before the chimney to regulate the flow of air into the fire box. 
  • The boiler operation is inspected through the inspection door on regular basis.

The Babcock and Wilcox boiler are used to produce steam at  high pressure in power generation industries. further this high pressure steam generated is used to produce electricity.


  • Overall efficiency of babcock and wilcox boiler is high.
  • Steam generation capacity is high. It is about 20000 at 10 to 20 bar pressure.
  • Tube can be replaced easily, if defective.
  • Maintenance & cleaning of boiler is easy.
  • It occupies very less space.
  • Inspection of boiler can be easily done even during operation.
  • It able to create large quantity of heat.
  • Minimum draught loss.

  • Maintenance cost is high
  • It is not much suitable for impure and sedimentary water.
  • It is required to keep correct water level inside the drum.
  • It required Continuously water supply for operation. 
  • Fouling of the tube may result overheating and bursting of tube.
This above article, I had detailed about Babcock and Wilcox Boiler Working Principle, Diagram, application, advantage & limitation. If you find this article useful kindly take few second for us and write in the comment. if you find any wrong information please mention it into comment.

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