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kbee1123's avatar

Why do they call steam rollers, steam rollers? They don't produce, get rid of, or have anythong to do with steam?

Asked by kbee1123 (68points) September 13th, 2010

just a thought…lol

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6 Answers

Ben_Dover's avatar

Steam roller engines are powered by steam. Otherwise, they are only road rollers.

partyparty's avatar

A steamroller (or steam roller) is a form of road roller – a type of heavy construction machinery used for levelling surfaces, such as roads or airfields – that is powered by a steam engine. The levelling/flattening action is achieved through a combination of the size and weight of the vehicle and the rolls: the smooth wheels and the large cylinder or drum fitted in place of treaded road wheels.

The majority of steam rollers are outwardly similar to traction engines as many traction engine manufacturers later produced rollers based on their existing designs, and the patents owned by certain roller manufacturers tended to influence the general arrangements used by others. The key difference between the two vehicles is that on a roller the main roll replaces the front wheels and axle that would be fitted to a traction engine.

In many parts of the world, the term steam roller is still used regardless of the method of propulsion. This typically only applies to the largest examples (used for road-making).

CyanoticWasp's avatar

For the same reason we no longer have steam shovels. Those machines used to be powered by steam engines, a long time ago.

The_Idler's avatar

It’s something like having an “electric fireplace”

They used to all be powered by steam, now they use diesel, but they look pretty much the same, so are still associated with “steamroller”, a much nicer word than “Dieselroller” (which the Germans have probably embraced with no fuss whatsoever).

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@The_Idler in German, it’s probably dieselpoweredasphaltpavementroller. But the “no fuss” part is probably accurate.

Strauss's avatar

There are some models that add steam or water to the rolling process. If the asphalt is hot when it is rolled, any water will produce some steam.

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