T. Henry Turner
Appointed Chief Chemist & Metallurgist to LNER in 1931. Significant contributor to discussions of Institution of Locomtive Engineers. In discussion on Glascodine's (J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1936, 26 ,Paper 350) paper on buffing Turner advocated the use of rubber in shear. He could be very sharp in his response to what he regarded as poor metallurgical practice: for instance, he was highly crritical of some of the techniques advocated by Cox in his paper on Locomotive wheels, tyres and axles (J. Instn Loco. Enrgs, Paper 346) in a long contribution to the discussion where he noted the inappropriate use of copper, rather than zinc, as an interlayer between the tyre and rim and noted the destructive nature of molten white metal with hot steel where it cut like a knife. His interests were exceptionally broad: he contributed to a not very exciting paper on railcar development on British Railways noting that the front end should be sloping to avoid turbulence when two units passed at speed. He was also damning of the failure to employ Buck-eye couplings on the railcars.
said that the Author had omitted two conditions of operation which should be mentioned, in view of the statement that the public motor coach did "ride rather well" Surely there was no public motor coach in which a passenger could write at 60 m.p.h., as was done regularly in the ordinary mainline coaches of a train.
Discussion on Papers
Cox Paper 457
T. Henry Turner (151) said the Author's paper helped us to study the way we had come, with a view to our deciding where to go from here. After considering what had been done in other forms of transport as a guide to what -night have been done with railway steam locomotives, he concluded that liquid fuel, high speed engines, rotary motion and reduction gears stood out as a challenge. It was notable, therefore, that the paper referred to no experiments to replace crude run of mine coal during a decade when ships, buses, cars and aeroplanes turned to liquid fuels. Perhaps the next paper before the Institution would make it possible to follow two other such features-rotary motion and reduction gears-on the L.M.S. turbine locomotive.
Sanford, D.W. (Paper 451) The relationship between smokebox and boiler proportions. 40-53. J. Instn Loco Engrs., 1945, 35, 60
Theory may be likened to a candle and experience to the sunlight, said it would be desirable to know something more about what had been found by experiment, and therefore he would like to ask the Author, with the aid of the Research Department or the Institution staff, to add to the Paper a bibliography, and line sketches of typical blast systems. There were so many that it might be difficult to choose representative ones, but he felt that the Institution should be able to present some historical background to a Paper of this kind. He would like to ask what had been found with regard to the need for circularity, and to what extent it was possible to depart from circular chimney or nozzle without getting into trouble. If it were possible to depart from it, then it would be very simple experimentally-and possibly the testing plant at Rugby would undertake it later-to arrange a locomotive with manual control of the size of the nozzle and of the chimney. If it were possible to depart from complete circularity an arrangement of the type shown in the accompanying sketch (Fig. 5) might be tried. That would be simple with the chimney, but not so simple with the blast nozzle. He would like to ask what was known with regard to the need for circularity of locomotive chimneys and blast nozzles and whether tests had been carried out with manually-controlled variable ones; H. Holcroft (61-2) asked why quite small leaks into the smokebox had such a major influence on steaming and Sanford in reply could give no sound reason;
Graff-Baker, W.S. Considerations on bogie design with particular reference to electric railways. J. Instn Loco Engrs., 1952, 42, 349-50. (Paper 513)
Discussion: 350-1: The Author had rightly said that the problem must be considered in regard to the bogie plus the rail. The road vehicle never had to go backwards for the same distance and at the same speed, and that was one of the features which had to be considered in the design of the bogie. The "toe-ing in" or castoring action possible with some other types of vehicle could not be considered in bogie design for rail vehicles. A train feature that applied to the electrical bogies for two-thirds of the systems in Britain was that thev must'conduct electricity. Four-rail systems were relatively few in Britain; so that the current was likely to flow through the components of the bogie.
Uneveness over rail joints and lateral track irregularities could both be reduced by butt-welding the rails. At the time he had joined the railway service, civil engineers had been afraid of lateral deformation of the track and catastrophic deformation of the track in hot weather. It had been definitely proved that they were dangers about which there need be no worry, where long welded rails were used. He knew of no case where the long welded rail had been catastrophically deformed. The only rails that had so deformed, in railway experience, were those in which there were expansion joints. From French work which had been done on the subject, it would be seen that use of the expansion joint was courting catastrophic deformation under thermal expansion in the hotter parts of the year. Hence, there was no reason why rail joint bumps should be considered inevitable. The Author had spoken of axles having lasted longer than they should have done according to theory. Probably that was due to the absence of corrosion. Experience had shown that the average mainline axle would fail by corrosion fatigue in a relatively few years, if it weFe machined. Experience equally showed that thorough painting would preserve it for very many years. Corrosion could shorten the service life to a quarter of what it might have been. Before very expensive pneumatic tyres were adopted, with their greatly increased friction, he hoped that Mr. Trittons recommendation would bear fruit, and that the rubber-spring wheel-centre would be considered. With that there was little friction and little unsprung weight. Four or five years previously, when he had approached the biggest rubber undertaking in Britain, they had seen no reason why the success which had been achieved in the tramcars in the United States, Switzerland, and Sweden should not be matched in largerscale wheels, or why the trouble with heat from braking should not be overcome.
The lateral stability of the bogie deserved further experiment. Vertical rigidity was obviously necessary, but by design of the sides so that the one would contract and the other expand (which was possible), he was certain that the winding up which took place in the frame at the expense of abrasion of the rail could be avoided. If roller bearings were used, however, provision would have to be made in the shops to ensure that electric currents did not pass, because it was clear that, in certain of the electrified lines, arcing had been occurring from the race to the rollers.
Vandy, W. The production of steel wagons. J. Instn Loco. Engrs.,, 1953, 43, 534.. (Paper No. 526) .
Turner was in his element commending LNER welding practice
Wise, S. Why metals break. Rly Div. J., 1971, 2, 182-3.
T. Henry Turner, M.Sc. (182-3) raised the following points:
1. Transverse Fissures. The slide of a rail fracture shown by the Author, concerning which Professor A. G. Smith had asked for information, should be classified as a transverse crack or two-stage failure. (Four illustrations typical of these failures can be seen on page 25 of the Rail Failures booklet that Mr. Turner produced in 1944 to standardise reporting, description and classification. The printed booklet was later issued to all British Railways' civil engineers by the Railway Executive in 1948.) This transverse fissure had a smooth, round or kidney-shaped patch which sometimes exhibited a silvery centre. Its nucleus may be a 'shatter crack' or inclusion, or the fissure may be associated with wheel burn or weld deposit.
2. Clinks. Mr. Wise's illustration that interested Professor Smith was comparable with the 'clink' rightly feared by steelmakers and engineers. Turner had worked with the huge masses of steel needed for the electrical generator 'rotors' in the early 1920s. Cooling from molten state and forging to machine shop temperatures, the outside steel solidified and hardened while the middle of the mass had still to lose heat and shrink. Thus it sometimes happened, if the cooling was not very slow indeed, that contraction stresses, concentrating on ingot centre impurity weaknesses, caused the formation of an internal, transverse, convexo-convex lens-shaped fissure by a sudden 'clink'. This could occur when the large steel forging was at rest, and was in no way affected by external forces. Consequently the practice of trepanning a three-inch hole right through the centre of the longitudinal axis was adopted. If the core came out in one piece there was probably no clink, but to add certainty they developed a long-range microscope that was subsequently named a boroscope.
American rails had so many of these transverse, at first invisible, fractures that special railcars were made by Sperry to detect invisible fissures in rails in their tracks so that they could be removed before fracture. Continental rails had less of this type of rail failure, their rail heads having relatively smaller masses of steel. In Britain where rails were mainly made from open-hearth steel, and where climatic extremes of temperature were less on steelmaker's rail banks than in America, there were extremely few transverse fissures in steel rails.
3. Nature of Metals. When puzzling about why metals break engineers must try, like metallurgists, to have in mind the fundamental nature of metals. With the very rare exception of noble metals like gold, the Creator made our metals to have strong affinity for oxygen, sulphur and other elements. Found in nature as earthy material compounds of several elements together, metals were only extracted with much difficulty from their earthy or stoney ores. Metals used by engineers naturally reverted to brittle compounds; dissolving in acids, corroding in moisture, tarnishing and blackening in sulphur fumes, oxidising at flame temperatures. Although nickel and copper differed in their modes of straining, the Author had rightly concentrated on what he had observed in steels because most mechanical engineering was steel, ca~t) iron or their alloys.
4. Rail Bolt Hole. The Author's illustration of a fracture at a steel mil fish-plate bolt hole could be a memorable lesson. The civil engineer had drilled a hole in the rail web leaving a sharp edge that concentrated rail impact stresses. More important it concentrated corrosion because moist sulphurous air corroded the sharp-edged steel from both sides. It was foolish to expect paint, tar or oil to sit protectively on any sharp edge. Smoothly rounding-off the bolt hole edge increased the life of the essential zinc, paint or other anti-corrosive, and so reduced the loss of steel at a stress concentration area that was no longer a point. That was an important lesson, but since 1933 we have known that flash-butt welding of rails avoids bolt-hole corrosion, stress concentration and 70 per cent of rail failures.
5. The Environment Matters. In considering "Why Metals' Break", Turner said engineers must now remember that during the past 30 years many outstanding advances in practice have been brought about by altering the environment in which metals work.
There is much less metal loss in furnaces and machine shops because control of furnace atmospheres has revolutionised heat treatment of metals.
Control of boiler water chemical treatment made Mr. Bulleid's famous locomotives' steel fireboxes last for more than a dozen years instead of failing in six months. Control of ships' boiler waters greatly increased the availability of warships and merchant vessels. Control of the chemical treatment of land boilers made possible the present giant electricity generating plant boilers on which we all depend.
Control of anti-corrosive in summer as well as winter coolants for internal combustion engines has done more than anything else to increase the useful life of road vehicle motors. Control of air pollution brightened towns, increased their sunlight and also appreciably reduced the atmospheric corrosion of our metals.
Robson, A.E. Railcar development on British Railways.. J. Instn Loco Engrs., 1962, 52, 113-114. refers to Renault railcars and its influnce on A4 and bluntness of BR product, also it lack of Buckeye couplers.
In response to Paper No. 686 om automatic train operation he proposed automatic passenger operation: Automatic Train operation was obviously the first step, but then somehow it had to be arranged for a "slug of passengers" to be shot into it. Why not fence the edge of the platform and have sliding doors if the stopping of the train could be arranged accurately? At present, the eight-deep crowd was most dangerous, especially for those standing on the edge of the platform.
Mr. Turner did not think it was impossible that the aircraft system of taking a bus-load of people from the ticket office to the plane in which they were going to travel, could be adopted at some stations in the future. At present, the journey from St. Pancras to Charing Cross, for example, necessitated a very long walk in station passages, and quite clearly this was not what the paying passengers wanted. If we could not have passengers "containerised", he thought there was probably something we could do in automatic passenger operation to match automatic trains.
Lynes, L. and Simmons, A.W. Brake equipment and braking tests of Southern Railway C.C. electric locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1944, 34, 345-95. (Paper No. 448) Turner asked whether the Authors could add to the most interesting data they had already given, the chemical composition of the brake blocks and tyres, and also the chemical composition and hardness of the rails over which the trials were run. There were many sorbitic rails on the Southern Railway and some of them might have hardnesses approaching those of the Continental martensitic rails on which wheels readily skid. There were some unusual American brake blocks now on locomotives in this country, and they were producing strange results in wear on tyres ; but he assumed that in the Authors case ordinary grey cast iron brake blocks had been used. Both the chemical composition and the hardness of brake blocks, tyres and rails should therefore be added for completeness of the record if possible. He was very interested in the simple tumbler shock recording instrument described in the Paper. He did not remember having seen anything like it before, and if it was new, perhaps the Authors would say who invented it. As for the noise of vehicle impacts on braking, this was not a good advertisement for the railways, as anyone who slept within sound of goods trains bumping their wagons together would be well aware. Perhaps one day a Noise Abatement Society would force the railways to abolish the three-link coupling, even if nothing else could do so. The damage to freight of such noiseycreating bumping was often overlooked, but the department with which he was concerned frequently had to investigate cases where either rough shunts or abnormally hurried stoppages at signals caused damage to valuable freight. That point should he borne in mind by anybody who was trying to develop better braking systems. There was need for improvement in the whole of the train, and he hoped that the Authors, spurred on by Mr. Bulleid, would not stop at the locomotive, but would go on to deal with the continuous braking of freight trains.
Warder. S.B. Electric traction prospects for British Railways. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1951, 41, 38. (Paper No. 498)
asked whether the Authors could add to the most interesting data they had already given, the chemical composition of the brake blocks and tyres, and also the chemical composition and hardness of the rails over which the trials were run. There were many sorbitic rails on the Southern Railway and some of them might have hardnesses approaching those of the Continental martensitic rails on which wheels readily skid. There were some unusual American brake blocks now on locomotives in this country, and they were producing strange results in wear on tyres ; but he assumed that in the Authors case ordinary grey cast iron brake blocks had been used. Both the chemical composition and the hardness of brake blocks, tyres and rails should therefore be added for completeness of the record if possible. He was very interested in the simple tumbler shock recording instrument described in the Paper. He did not remember having seen anything like it before, and if it was new, perhaps the Authors would say who invented it. As for the noise of vehicle impacts on braking, this was not a good advertisement for the railways, as anyone who slept within sound of goods trains bumping their wagons together would be well aware. Perhaps one day a Noise Abatement Society would force the railways to abolish the three-link coupling, even if nothing else could do so. The damage to freight of such noiseycreating bumping was often overlooked, but the department with which he was concerned frequently had to investigate cases where either rough shunts or abnormally hurried stoppages at signals caused damage to valuable freight. That point should he borne in mind by anybody who was trying to develop better braking systems. There was need for improvement in the whole of the train, and he hoped that the Authors, spurred on by Mr. Bulleid, would not stop at the locomotive, but would go on to deal with the continuous braking of freight trains.
Boiler water treatment: a general review. Corrosion Prevention & Control, 1956, 3, 37-40..
Langridge, E.A. Under ten
CMEs. 2011. page 135
Refers to THT as "a great talker, guaranteed to finish with a eulogy of all things LNER"