Excerpt from Steam Engines When in action a certain amount of steam to of the total cylinder volume in simple engines) is admitted to one end of the cylinder, while the other is open to the atmosphere. The steam forces the piston forward a certain distance by its direct action at the boiler pressure. After the supply is shut off, the forward movement of the piston is continued to the end of the stroke by the expansion of the steam. Steam is now admitted to the other end of the cylinder, and the operation repeated on the backward or return stroke.
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