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Working Of A Fusible Plug
Sep 13, 2017

The safety plug is planted into the top plate of the steam engine fire box. In normal conditions, the plug would be in such a state that it stands extending an inch into the water space above it. Now, if the water level falls so that it exposes the top of the plug, the plug gets overheated. Due to the low melting temperature of the fusible plug, the sealant melts away. This leaves the plug to be nothing less than an ordinary whistle, which produces a noise audible enough to be heard by the operators. This serves to warn them about the water level before it reaches a critically low level and invites catastrophe.

The use of this safety plug serves as the last line of precaution for operators to prevent any mishap in the working of steam engines or boilers. Apart from this, there are other of workplace safety measures which are obviously implemented.

The working of a fusible plug is not 100% foolproof. There could be several cases, because of which, the metal sealant may become oxidized, and this might result in increasing its melting point. And, if any such thing happens, the plug would fail to respond. That is the reason the reliability of this device is always put to test as a last resort.