Water cooled question...


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Ditch-Tiger
May 6, 2010, 12:41 PM
I've got a question about old water cooled machine guns...
Is there a reason the jackets weren't filled with oil instead of water?
It would seem to me that the oil would cause less harm to the gun (rust), weigh less (water is heavier then oil, right?) and not freeze as easily in winter climates.
Is there a downside i'm not thinking of that caused the use of water?

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Mandolin
May 6, 2010, 12:51 PM
Water is easier to get, is already needed in large amounts, and oil, when hot, might smoke or catch or fire, a very bad thing. You don't use flamable materials to cool hot objects.

Ditch-Tiger
May 6, 2010, 12:58 PM
I understand that, but i was under the assumption that the jacket was sealed, if that is the case, would/could it combust?

Mandolin
May 6, 2010, 01:56 PM
The jacket is mostly sealed, but you still need to be able to por mor in and most guns had a litle tube that went to a box when steam could condese back to water. And if shrapnel puts a hole in the jacket, do you want a clound of steam or boiling oil? I'll take the steam. And, if you use water, you can use whatever you can get in to cool the weapon, the Russian Maxim gun copy had a large opening on top so you could stuff snow or ice in, which considering the climate was briliant. You could do the same with oil cooling but then you have an oil slick on top of boiling water or vice versa.

PTK
May 6, 2010, 02:11 PM
.....you don't know much about water's heat capacity versus oil's, do you. ;)

Basically, water can "hold' WAY more heat than oil before actually changing temperature. WAY more. It's the ideal common medium for this sort of cooling.

GrimmLV
May 6, 2010, 03:23 PM
Sort of like a car's cooling system... ;)

PTK
May 6, 2010, 03:32 PM
Where the oil lubricates the engine, transfers via radiator to a water/anti-boil mixture? Yup! Good way to relate the heat capacity. If oil was so great, why don't we just use that 100%? :D

Mp7
May 6, 2010, 04:08 PM
Should have seen the german soldiers faces, when Adolf
took those beer-tanks off the MGs :)

SlamFire1
May 6, 2010, 04:12 PM
At least on the vicker's, the water was supposed to boil out and be replaced. You will see pictures of a tube going from the jacket to a condensor.


Water is cheap. 75% of the planet is covered with water. When it rains, water collects in pools. Water is a lot easier to find locally than refined oil.

Jed Clampett not withstanding.

BeltFedEd
May 7, 2010, 01:19 AM
Evaporative cooling.

The steam carries the heat away.

Oil, not so much.

Sunray
May 8, 2010, 02:09 AM
Oil isn't a coolant.
"...I'll take the steam..." Scalded instead of fried? Not much difference.
"...Sort of like a car's cooling system..." Exactly. The water can acted just like a radiator.

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