Difference between Fire Tube and Water Tube Boiler

Difference between Fire Tube and Water Tube Boiler


  • The boiler is divided into two main types.
    1. Fire Tube
    2. Water Tube
  • The main difference between Fire Tube and Water Tube Boiler is that In Fire Tube Boiler, hot flue gases pass through tubes and water surrounds them, and In Water, Tube Boiler water passes through tubes and hot flue gasses is surround them. These boilers mostly use in the power development industries, sugar industries, cotton industries, etc.
Comparison between Fire tube and Water tube boiler
Comparison Between Fire Tube and Water Tube

Comparison Chart

Following are a few points of comparison between Fire tube and Water tube boiler:

BASIS FOR COMPARISON Fire Tube boiler Water Tube boiler
Position of water and hot gases Hot gases inside the tubes and
water outside the tubes
Water inside the tubes and hot
gases outside the tubes
Operating pressure Limited to 25 bar More than 125 bars
Rate of steam generation Lower Higher
Suitability Not suitable for large power
Suitable for large power plant
Chance of explosion Less due to low pressure More due to low pressure
Floor space requirement More Less
Cost Less More
Requirement of skill Required less skill for efficient
and economic working
Required more skill and careful
attention efficient and economic
Use For producing process steam For producing steam for power
generation as well as process
Scale deposition & over
There are no water tubes, no
the problem of scale deposition and
less problem of overheating &
Small deposition of scale will cause
overheating and bursting of the
Example Lancashire boiler, Cochran Boiler Babcock and Wilcox boiler

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