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testing the Walter Burley Griffin Incinerator, 1934

Barraclough, H. report for the Willoughby Municipal Council, 13.9.34

The Test was carried out on August 30th under general arrangements made by the Council's Engineer and the representative of the Reverberatory Incinerator Company, who were present during the day. It was supervised in all its aspects by myself, with the co-operation of two colleagues in my Department, Mr. W.H.H. Gibson and Mr. K.R.M. Hart, assisted by three senior Engineering students. In making the Test, all the necessary standard precautions were taken, and these need not be described in detail.

The Plant was under close observation during the 17 hours from 7 a.m. till midnight, and the 16-hour test period extended from 7.45 a.m. to 11.45 p.m. A further inspection was made on the following morning (August 31st) from 7.30 a.m. to 11 a.m., to examine and measure the residual clinker and ash, and to determine the amount of garbage which was left in the hoppers at the conclusion. (Results not included)


It is clear from the above results that the Plant has considerably exceeded the performance specified.

Apart from the foregoing specific statements, there are some general observations with regard to the Plant and its operation which are worth recording when considering the Incinerator as an asset of the Municipality:

(a) The problem of incorporating an effective garbage destructor and an unobjectionable night-soil dump in one attractive building is no easy one, and the solution of the problem arrived at in the present case is unusually successful.

(b) The design of the Incinerator, from the tipping floor right through to, the collection and disposal of the residues and the discharge of the flue gasses from the tower, evidences a great accumulation of skill and experience in the handling and burning of garbage.

(c) The workmanship and materials employed in the Plant are noteworthy. I had an opportunity of inspecting the furnace during its course of constructlon, and I was particularly impressed by the high quality of the brickwork in the furnace and the various flues.

(d) The complete absence of any sign whatever of smoke or dust escaping at the top of the tower or stack for long periods at a stretch, while the furnace was being pushed far beyond its nominal capacity, was an indication not only of efficient combustlon but also of very effective trapping of the dust during tha passage of the gasses through the combustion and residue chambers and the various flues.

(e) The character and amount of the resulting residue will usually indicate the effectiveness of a combustion process. In the present case, the extraordinary small quantity of clinker and ash is most noteworthy. I imagine it must constitute something in the nature of a record performance.

(f) The generally high and steady temperatures maintained are probably due to the effectiveness of the two drying grates supplied with highly preheated air and to the supporting value of the heat accumulated in the residue chamber at the back of the furnace.

g ) Amongst others there are two features of the Incinerator as a whole, that specially attracted my attention. The first is the extremely workmanlike job presented by the front of the furnace with all the controls for the various operations conveniently placed for the fireman in charge of the furnace on that floor. The second is the attractive elevation exhibited by the back of the building, with the different operating levels clearly lndicated. It should do much to dispel the quite unreasonable hostility to Incinerators usually felt by the man in the street. I venture to attach a photograph of each of these features. They would be regarded as noteworthy ln any community.

Yours faithfully, (Sgd.) Henry Barraclough.


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