I'm by no means an expert on this, but I think there are a number of factors at play here. Firstly, there's the way slide valves are held down to the port face by steam pressure. A 1 foot square valve at 100 psi has 1440 lbs of pressure on it, and as a result the friction between the valve and the port face is high. A piston valve however is not held onto the port face by steam pressure in the same way. It's just the rings in the valve head which are under steam pressure. The area of these rings is much less than for the equivalent slide valve, so the the friction is less. So for a given steam pressure the friction involved in moving a slide valve is higher than that for a piston valve. Secondly, un-superheated steam is likely to be wet. This is as a result of pressure drop from the regulator to the steam chest, some of the steam condenses. The water droplets help lubricate the valve. With superheated steam, even allowing for pressure drop, the steam is dry in the valve chest. Hence no help with lubrication. Thirdly, superheated steam is hotter. This increased temperature caused the lubricants available at the time to break down. There amy well be other factors involved here, but I think all these are involved. Having seen a slide valve from one of the Fairlies on the Festiniog Railway after a lubrication failure at 200psi, you realise quite how much damage can be caused by this. John _________________________________________________________________ 100?s of Music vouchers to be won with MSN Music https://www.musicmashup.co.uk MODEL ENGINEERING DISCUSSION LIST. To UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, send a blank email to, modeleng-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line.