Cylinder oil analysis essential

Dec 07 2018

ExxonMobil recently presented an advanced on board condition monitoring programme to optimise engine performance to 146 Middle East-based shipping representatives.

The meeting was organised by IMarEST’s UAE branch.

Nikeel Idnani, Honorary Secretary of the IMarEST UAE branch who presided over the meeting, set the scene by emphasising the critical importance of adequate cylinder oil feed rate.

On the one hand, correct feed rate prevents component wear, while on the other, over-lubrication is a waste of money and leads to unwanted deposits, he said. 

David Squirrell, Chief Engineer, ExxonMobil Marine Lubricants, outlined that scrape down oil analysis is an essential tool for vessel operators as it provides information that can help improve engine reliability, reducing associated maintenance and repair costs.

He warned that many ship operators are now required to switch between fuels and lubricants when entering and leaving ECAs in order to meet the 0.1% fuel sulfur cap. Knowing what is happening inside an engine has never been more important, he said.

Vessel operators are increasingly encountering fuels with high levels of cat fines, which can cause abrasive wear if not properly treated. With an effective condition monitoring programme, a fuel batch containing cat fines will immediately be identified by a spike in metal content within the scrape down oil, helping ensure that preventative steps can be taken before the fuel is used.

Through regular testing, results can be plotted, and trends uncovered to gain a full understanding of cylinder oil and the engine’s condition. The results can help vessel operators identify the most appropriate BN cylinder oil and feed rate to protect engines from cold corrosion, he said.


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