Technical Notes

Stainless Steel Mesh for Spark Arresting


Stainless steel mesh grade 303
Mesh 14 per inch
Wire diameter .015"
Hole size .05" approx.

Intended for spark arresting on small steam locomotives and traction engines. Some years ago Bruce supplied a similar material regularly to many customers who had considerable success using it to arrest sparks and cinders when fitted carefully in the smokebox. Bearing in mind the current interest in our hobby by the Health & Safety Executive and insurance requirements of some clubs, it would seem to be prudent to remind model engineers of its availability.

Based on experience gained from customer research and tests using a Speedy loco this new material has a smaller aperture (approx. .05") and should be capable of removing a substantial amount of harmful particles from engine exhausts. The most dangerous of these, the larger burning cinders, will be completely stopped by the mesh. Smaller particles that can penetrate the mesh will be cooled quickly by their passage through the air and should not cause bums to those they fall on.

Photo: mesh.There will still be a possibility of particles entering the eyes but if an exhaust deflector fitted to the top of the chimney is used in conjunction with the stainless steel mesh in the smokebox, this danger can be reduced to a sensible minimum .

It is also wise to try and prevent problems at their starting point, a simple way to do this is to fit a stainless steel deflector to the front of the grate similar to the brick arch used in full size locomotives. This is angled upwards and backwards at an angle of about 50 degrees to the horizontal to about 50-70 % of the firebox height. Almost any grade of stainless will do and we have found that 22swg grade 316 will last a season in a Speedy.

For prices see our downloadable catalog.