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ME 411


Marine engine oils comprise a series of lubricants used to maintain the proper function of low-
speed and medium-speed marine engines, which are mainly employed in larger ships.

API Two-Cycle Motor Oil Specifications

Spec Status Description

Proposed classification for two-stroke engine oils required for extremely-small engines,
TA Obsolete typically less than 50 cc. Engine Tests for this classification were under preparation when
the Coordinating European Council (CEC) withdrew support for this category.

Proposed classification for two-stroke engine oils required for the engines of motor-
TB Obsolete scooters and other highly-loaded small engines, typically between 50 and 200 cc. The test
sponsor no longer requires this category, and the classification has been abandoned.

Designed for various high-performance engines, typically between 200 and 500 cc, such
as those on motorcycles and snowmobiles, and chain saws with high fuel-oil ratios - but
TC Current
not outboards. Two-cycle engine oils designed for API Classification TC address ring-
sticking, pre-ignition and cylinder scuffing problems.

Designed for water-cooled outboard engines, this classification used the identical engine
test to that in the National Marine Manufacturers association (NMMA) TC-W category.
TD Obsolete
API TD has been superseded, and is no longer accepted by the NMMA, who now
recommend oils meeting the requirements of TC-W3 for water-cooled outboard engines.

Bunker Oil - Marine Fuel Oil

Distillate Fuels, residual Fuels

What is Bunker Oil? - Description and Classification Overview

Bunker oil is generally any type of fuel oil used aboard ships. We can distinguish between two main
types: distillate fuels and residual fuels.

Marine fuels are classified using the Bunker ABC:

Bunker A corresponds to the distillate fuel oil No. 2

Bunker B is a No. 4 or No. 5 fuel oil

Bunker C corresponds to the residual fuel oil No. 6

No. 6 is the most common oil, that's why "bunker fuel" is often used as a synonym for the No. 6
residual fuel oil which requires heating before the oil can be pumped. No. 5 fuel oil is also called navy
special. No. 5 or No. 6 also furnace fuel oil (FFO).

In the maritime field another classification is used:

MGO (Marine Gas Oil): a distillate fuel oil (No. 2, Bunker A)

MDO (Marine Diesel Oil): a blend of MGO and HFO

IFO (Intermediate Fuel Oil): a blend of MGO and HFO, with less gasoil than MDO

MFO (Medium Fuel Oil): a blend of MGO and HFO, with less gasoil than IFO

HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil): a residual fuel oil (No. 6, Bunker C)

Marine fuels are traditionally classified according to their kinematic viscosity. This is a valid criterion
for oil quality as long as the oil is produced by atmospheric distillation only. Today, almost all marine
fuels are based on fractions from more advanced refinery processes and the viscosity itself says little
about the oil's quality as fuel. Despite this, marine fuels are still quoted on the international bunker
markets with their maximum viscosity set by ISO 8217 as marine engines are designed to use different
viscosities of fuel. The density is also an important parameter for fuel oils since marine fuels are purified
before use to remove water and dirt. Therefore, the oil must have a density which is sufficiently different
from water.


Distillate Bunker Oils (ISO 8217)

Distillate Fuel Kin. Viscosity Density

[mm/s] [g/cm]
at 50C at 15C
DMX 1.4 ... 5.5
DMA 1.5 ... 6.0 < 0.890
DMB < 11 < 0.900
DMC < 14 < 0.920

Residual Bunker Oils (ISO 8217)

Residual Fuel Kin. Viscosity Density

[mm/s] [g/cm]
at 50C at 15C

RMA 30 < 30 < 0.960

RMB 30 < 30 < 0.975

RMD 80 < 80 < 0.980

RME 180 < 180 < 0.991

RMF 180 < 180 < 0.991

RMG 380 < 380 < 0.991

RMH 380 < 380 < 0.991

RMK 380 < 380 < 1.010

RMH 700 < 700 < 0.991

RMK 700 < 700 < 1.010

B. TBN Requirement
The oil change intervals are optimized by the continued use of centrifugal cleaning equipment to
remove oil and contaminants accidental insoluble particles such as water, which helps extend the life of
the oil.

Another important factor is the level of TBN.

The TBN is affected by the following reasons:
Sulfur Content
The rate of oil consumption
Temperature of the tank
In general, TBN must be numerically greater than five times the percentage level sulfur fuel.

MOTOROIL MARINE 34/25 SAE 30 / 40 / 15W40

They are multipurpose lubricants for diesel engines and medium speed marine propulsion engines and
auxiliary operating with residual fuel. Designed especially for moderate stress conditions in the oil.
Usually tends to be for:
Engines with more than 5 years of service.
Fuel used <3% sulfur.
Marine engines and certain other marine equipment where special lubricants are not required.
The heavy fuel oil contaminate the oil with asphalt, requiring detergent additives to prevent deposits.
The combustion of high sulfur produces sulfuric acid, causing wear of piston rings and cylinders.
Most large marine diesel engines (both two-stroke and fourstroke) are designed to run on
residual fuel oil, which has a high sulphur content sometimes up to 5 percent weight. During
combustion, the sulphur is oxidized ultimately to sulphuric acid. Marine diesel engine oils must therefore
contain alkaline additives to neutralize the corrosive effects of the combustion acids. The amount of
these additives determines the total base number (TBN) of the oil.
Marine lubricant marketers differ on how to best formulate oils for use with low-sulphur fuels.
Shell, ExxonMobil and Total endorse a single TBN solution, while BP and Chevron support OEM
recommendations and endorse a two-oil approach. Many industry analysts believe that two oils are
more likely to be required, particularly as 2020 approaches and distillate fuels are more widely required.
Rallye Marine Engine Oil 16 TBN engine oils are high performance, high dispersancy engine oils for
medium and high speed diesel engines oils operating on distillate and marine diesel oil (MDO) fuels.
These advanced diesel lubricants are available in both SAE 30 and 40 grades to suit most marine
engine viscosity requirements. As a result of a special balance of dispersant and detergent properties,
these oils provide not only increased resistance to cylinder liner lacquer formation and in severe
service applications but also assist in sludge and deposit removal. Continued use of Rallye Marine
Engine Oil 16 TBN protects against high oil consumption associated with cylinder liner lacquering,
improves overall engine cleanliness and can increase time between engine overhaul.

Rallye Marine Engine Oil 30 TBN engine oils are marine engine oils that meet the requirement of
medium speed trunk piston engines used as the main propulsion and auxiliary engines on deep-sea
vessels, as main propulsion engines on coastal and river ships, and in stationary power applications.
Rallye marine engine oil 30 TBN are offered in SAE 30, SAE 40, and SAE 50 grades. They are designed
to meet the needs of engines operating on heavy fuel. They are recommended for use in the latest
model high power 2 and 4 cycle diesel engines. These oils are especially beneficial in engines having
low crankcase oil consumption, or operating with low cylinder liner temperatures, and with fuels having
moderate sulfur contents. These Rallye 30 TBN marine engine oils are formulated to provide excellent
resistance to thermal degradation, and to promote a high level of engine cleanliness and protection
against wear. They have good resistance to oxidation and viscosity increases over long operating
Rallye Marine Engine Oil 40 TBN engine oils are marine engine oils that meet the requirement of
medium speed trunk piston engines used as the main propulsion and auxiliary engines on deep-sea
vessels, as main propulsion engines on coastal and river ships, and in stationary power applications.
Rallye marine engine oil 40 TBN are offered in SAE 30, SAE 40, and SAE 50 grades. They are designed
to meet the needs of engines operating on heavy fuel. They are recommended for use in the latest
model high power 2 and 4 cycle diesel engines. These oils are especially beneficial in engines having
low crankcase oil consumption, or operating with low cylinder liner temperatures, and with fuels having
high sulfur contents. These Rallye 40 TBN marine engine oils are formulated to provide excellent
resistance to thermal degradation, and to promote a high level of engine cleanliness and protection
against wear. They have good resistance to oxidation and viscosity increases over long operating
periods. Relatively high alkalinity reserves in the oils provide superior protection, neutralizing strong
acids resulting from high sulfur fuels that find access to the crank case to promote oil degradation,
ring, cylinder, and bearing corrosion.

Rallye Marine Engine Oil 50 TBN engine oils are marine engine oils that meet the requirement of
medium speed trunk piston engines used as the main propulsion and auxiliary engines on deep-sea
vessels, as main propulsion engines on coastal and river ships, and in stationary power applications.
These oils are premium, extra high performance 50 TBN engine oils designed for use in the most
severe residual-fuelled medium-speed diesel applications found in marine and stationary power
industries. This diesel engine oil has been specially formulated to provide outstanding residual fuel
compatibility characteristics for excellent engine cleanliness, especially in crankcase, camshaft areas,
ring belt and piston undercrown. It provides excellent high temperature oxidation and thermal stability,
low volatility, and high load carrying properties and corrosion protection. They are designed to meet
the needs of engines operating on heavy fuel.

Rallye Marine Engine Oil 70 TBN engine oil is a premium crosshead cylinder oil for low-speed diesel
engines normally operating at less than 350 rpm. It is recommended for applications where a premium
grade cylinder lubricant is called for in use in all types of low speed crosshead diesel engines burning
residual fuels with sulfur contents of up to 3.5% weight. It is ideally suited for the new generation of
highly rated, fuel efficient, slow-speed marine diesel engines operating with higher pressures, higher
temperatures and longer strokes. It is a blend of highly refined, high viscosity index base oils, and
additives that incorporate premium additive technology. Recommended applications include low-speed
marine diesel engines burning heavy fuel with a relatively high sulfur content of between 1.0 to 3.5%
weight for slow speed marine diesel engine cylinders. The performance features of this unique
formulation centers around and additive technology that imparts outstanding acid neutralising
properties to counter corrosive wear resulting from the use of high sulphur fuels.

Marine System Oil 30

APSCO Marine Oil 30 is high quality marine system oil, formulated from solvent refined paraffin base
oils having I high thermal stability and resistance to oxidation. These inherent base oil characteristics
are augmented by a balanced additive package containing oxidation inhibitors, Alkaline detergents,
dispersants and anti-foam agents. They provide adequate lubrication for bearings and other moving
parts, including cams and gears, plus effective cooling of pistons in cross-head engines even in the
presence of saline water.


APSCO Marine Oil 30 is recommended primarily for use in high-output head diesel engines in marine
service, particularly those requiring system oil for piston cooling. In these applications, they will
prevent or reduce the incidence of piston crown cracking. Also it is recommended as crankcase oil in
auxiliary engines.

Marine Oil 50

APSCO Marine Oil 50 is highly alkaline Trunk Piston Engine Oil for crankcase and cylinder lubrication
requirements of medium-speed high BMEP marine engines burning high sulphur residual fuels (3.0% -
5.0% sulphur). It is developed for 'flame ring liner' operating on high sulphur residual fuel in these
engines. APSCO Marine Oil 50 shall take care of TBN depletion problems since in some engines it will
be sever due to low consumption.


APSCO Marine Oil 50 is recommended as crankcase engine oil for medium speed high BMEP engines,
operating on high sulphur fuels. APSCO Marine Oil 50 can also be used as 'top up' oil increase TBN
level in medium speed trunk piston engines.

Marine Diesel Engine Oil

APSCO Marine Diesel Engine Oil Series is high performance Trunk Piston Engine Oils for medium speed
marine and industrial type trunk piston engines operating on low Sulphur distillate fuels (sulphur up to
1.0%). They are blended using solvent-refined high viscosity index paraffin mineral base oils with
chemical additive which provide effective alkalinity, wear resistance, detergent/dispersant and water
separating properties.

APSCO Marine Diesel Engine Oils Series is recommended for crankcase lubrication in medium speed
marine type diesel engines. They can also be used to separate bearing lubrication and piston cooling
of large crosshead type engines under severe service conditions at appropriate viscosity grades.

Marine Oil 30 TBN series

APSCO Marine Oil 30 TBN Series is used for crankcase lubrication requirements of high output medium
speed engines and other similar marine type application. They are formulated solvent refined paraffin
thermally stable base oils, combined with a very effective additive package providing enhanced load
carrying ability, efficient oxidation stability, discrepancy and detergency. They are capable to handle
heavy residual fuels with high asphalt content.


APSCO Marine Oil 30 TBN Series is recommended for use in high output trunk piston operating on
heavy residual fuels (sulphur up to 2.0%). They are suitable for four-stroke high BMEP medium speed
diesel engines.

Marine Oil 40 TBN Series

APSCO Marine Oil 40 TBN Series are highly alkaline Trunk Piston Engine Oils for crankcase and cylinder
lubrication requirement of cross-head type marine engines burning high sulphur residual fuels (suitable
up to 3.0% sulphur). They are combination of high quality base stocks and additives designed to
impart acid handle heavy residual fuels with high asphalt content.


APSCO Marine Oil 30 TBN Series is recommended for use in high output trunk piston marine diesel
engines operating on heavy residual fuels (Sulphur up to 3.0%). They are suitable for four stroke high
BMEP medium speed diesel engines.

Marine Cylinder Oils

APSCO Marine Cylinder Oils is superior, high alkaline, developed for lubrication of modern, high output
cross head type engines using high sulphur fuels exceeding 4% by weight. Marine Oil RR 40 are
formulated from high quality base stock with selected additives to provide optimum oxidation
resistance at high temperatures. They also provide high levels of detergency to meet the performance
requirements of modern cross head type slow speed two stroke marine diesel engines.


APSCO Marine Cylinder Oils is recommended as a cylinder lubricant for all types of slow speed cross
head two stroke diesel engines using high sulphur fuels particularly the long stroke, BMEP type.


What are the Properties of crankcase lubricating oil?

Viscosity: To be suitable for the purpose
Viscosity index: To be high
Pour Point: Must be low
Flash point: Must be high
Oxidation stability: To be high
Carbon residues: To be low
Total acid number or TAN: To be suitable for the purpose
Total basic number or TBN: To be suitable for the purpose
Detergency: For cleaning
Dispersancy: To facilitate purification

What is viscosity?
It is a measure of internal resistance to flow between liquid layers.
Viscosity of lube oil reduces when temperature rises and vice versa.
For engine crankcase lube oil, viscosity is 130 to 240 Redwood No-1 seconds 60C.
For cylinder oil, viscosity is 12.5 22 Cst

What is viscosity index?

It is the rate of change of viscosity of an oil with respect to change in temperature.
An oil with low viscosity index has greater change of viscosity with change in temperature.
An oil with high viscosity index has very little change of viscosity with change in temperature,
which is a desirable property for lubricating oil.
For crankcase oil, viscosity index is 75 to 85.
For cylinder oil, viscosity index is 85.
Viscosity index of mineral oils is highest, about 115 and this may be raised to about 160 by
adding special additives.
Hydraulic oils should have high viscosity index for faster response of the system. It is usually
around 110.
What is a pour point?
It is the lowest temperature below which an oil will stop flow.
Pour point indicates that oil is suitable for cold weather or not.
Pour point of engine crankcase should be -18C.

What is the flash point?

It is the lowest temperature at which the oil will give off a sufficient inflammable vapour
to produce a momentary flash when a small flame is brought into the surface of the oil.
Close flash point for crankcase lubricating oil is around 220C.

Why flash point is important?

Fuel oil flash point is to be high because if it is low, there would be a possibility of fire in storage.
Engine crankcase lubricating oil flash point should be as high as possible to prevent
crankcase explosion.
For safe storage, oil storage tank heating temperature to be limited to at least 14C lower than
flash point to prevent fire.

Average Closed Flash Points

Petrol = -20C
70cSt Fuel Oil = 71C.
Paraffin = 40C
Lube Oil = 220C
Diesel Oil = 65C

What is Total Acid Number or TAN and Total Base Number or TBN?
The ability of an oil to react with a base reagent which indicates the acidity is expressed as TAN.
The ability of an oil to react with acidic reagent which indicate the alkalinity is expressed as TBN.
The results are expressed in milligrams of potassium hydroxide (KOH) required to neutralise one
gram of sample oil for both TAN and TBN.
TBN for an oil used for cross head type diesel engine crankcase is 8mg KOH/gram of oil.
TBN for an oil used for trunk type engine using heavy oil is 30mg KOH/gram of oil.

What type of engine are using high TBN and why?

If blow pass occur in a trunk type engine using heavy fuel oil, incomplete combustion products reach
directly into the crankcase and may cause the contamination of lube oil with acid. Thus in this type
of engine to neutralize the acid contamination must be used high TBN oil.

What is detergency and dispersancy ?

It is a chemical additive called detergent which has a property of preventing the deposition
of carbon deposits and wash away with the lube oil.
Dispersant additive is added to divide the larger size deposits into tiny particles to be carried in a
colloidal suspension evenly throughout the bulk of oil, which can be removed while filtration of the

Important Properties of Lube Oil

The following are the most common and required properties of the lube oil used for marine machinery:


The lube oil alkalinity plays an important part in marine engines. When fuel burns, the fumes carry
sulphuric acid which can cause acidic corrosion. For a trunk piston engine or four stroke engines, the
main lube oil is responsible for piston and liner lubrication; hence it comes directly in contact with the
combustible fuel. Therefore alkalinity of lube oil is important for controlling acidic corrosion.

For two stroke engines, separate grade of lube oil is used as cylinder oil and its alkalinity depends on the
engine fuel grade (HFO or LSFO).

Oxidation resistant

Lube oil is always in contact with air and thus oxygen presence in oil is inevitable. Moreover, at high
temperature of the oil, the oxidation rate increases. After 855 degree C temperature, the increase in every
105 degree C of oil oxidation rates doubles itself leading to sludge formation, acid production and bearing
corrosion. Hence additives are added to maintain keep these things in check. Lube oil temperature is
controlled by passing it through lube oil cooler.

Load carrying capacity

It is also one of the important characteristics of lube oil which mainly depends upon the viscosity of the
oil. The load subjected to different internal parts of the marine engine is very high; hence the load
carrying capacity must be enough to withstand the pressure inside the engine. If this is not achieved
then oil will be forced out and metal to metal contact will result in wiping out and wear down of the

Thermal conductivity

The internal parts of marine engine are always in movement producing heat energy. This heat energy has
to be carried away or else it might lead to wear down due to thermal stresses. The lube oil must cool
down the internal parts to avoid such a situation and must have a good thermal conductivity.


Detergency of the oil is obtained by adding some metallic based additives which will prevent the build up
of small deposits in the metal surface. In two stroke engine, the cylinder oil detergency is very important
as it removes the deposits from the ring pack area and keeps the combustion space as clean as possible


It is the property of the lube oil which prevents impurities to mix up with itself and keeps them
suspended on the surface. This makes it easy for the separator or clarifier to remove it from the oil.

High Flash Point

The flash point is the minimum temperature at which the oil vaporizes to give an ignitable mixture of air.
The flash point should always be on the higher side so that in case of increase in temperature of the oil,
fire hazard can be avoided. Normally for marine engine lube oils, the flash point is always higher than
2205 C.

Low Demulsification Number

It is not practically impossible to completely avoid contamination of oil with water. The low
demulsification number of the oil helps in easy separation of water from the oil in the separator or when
stored in the settling tank.

if the flash point of the oil is too low it might ignite with high temperature and therefore it should
normally be above 200 degrees Celsius.

this refers to the property which determines the ease of flow of the oil between small clearance
spaces. It should neither be too low nor too high for proper lubrication to take place. If the viscosity is
too low the oil will not provide proper boundary lubrication and if it is too less it will not flow properly in
all the places required, hence the need to maintain optimum viscosity.

this refers to the property of the oil to stick around to the surfaces and is useful in situations such as
those involving journal bearings.
the oil is said to be more stable if it can withstand relatively higher temperatures without cracking and
this is useful in conditions of cylinder lubrication



Used oil analysis is an important part of engine maintenance. It provides information about the
condition of the oil, its suitability for further use and to a certain extent information about the condition
of the machinery lubricated by the oil. Precondition of a valuable oil analysis and its interpretation is a
sample being taken according to a reliable procedure.

Why do we need used oil analysis?

The purpose of conducting used oil analysis is two-fold:

1. To assess the condition of the oil - to provide recommendations on its suitability for further use and
optimisation of the oil change intervals.
2. To assess the condition of the engine - to enable the detection and thus prevention of issues which left
unattended may impact the reliable operation of the engine.

Procedure for used oil analysis

This chapter deals with oil analysis (routine and non-routine), key actions required for a correct
analysis, oil sampling procedure, sample turnaround time, oil sampling intervals, and interpretation of oil
diagnosis & test results.

Routine Analyses
The physical & chemical characteristics of an in-service oil are obviously linked back to the specific type
of oil, its age and the conditions under which it operates. For engine oils, the tests carried out under
Routine Analyses will typically include:
1) Viscosity
2) Water content
3) Base Number (BN) or Alkalinity reserve
4) Insolubles
5) Flash Point
6) Elements (measuring the concentration of additives and levels of wear metals, etc.)

These tests are typically carried out in highly automated specialised laboratories. Only a small
volume of oil is needed- typically less than 250 ml for a full Routine Analysis, and fully automated
equipment can be used. This makes Routine Analysis quick, easy & economical to run. Normally the test
method used will be according to conventional ISO or ASTM standards but where in-house specialised
test methods are used these can have the advantage that the tests are specifically designed for their
relevance to used oil based on many years field experience. In cases of a dispute the ISO or ASTM
methods are used as the referee method.

Routine Analysis test kits, which contain all the equipment &containers necessary for taking the
samples are delivered to the installations at regular intervals. Additionally, many kits now contain pre-
labelled sample containers and pre-paid express mail postage bags. Most laboratories now operate on a
24 hour testing turnaround time from the time of sample receipt. In cases where a high degree of test
precision isneeded standard Routine Analysis testing may not be suitable.

Non-Routine Analysis

Sometimes more sophisticated testing is needed to investigate an ongoing problem or to obtain

a better diagnosis of the condition of the engine or its components. These analyses are known as Non
Routine analyses. Such tests can be carried out aspart of an investigation or indeed be done as part of
an oil based condition monitoring programme. Extended analysis suites can include tests carried out on
engine deposits, debris & fuel samples as well as the oil samples themselves. Non routine analyses
typically require larger sample volumes (1 litre or so), and the analyses performed are chosen on a case
by case basis with guidance from the oil supplier and / or engine manufacturer. Use of a different
laboratory may alsobe required. It is necessary to provide specific and detailed information on the
history of the engine & practical working details in order to determine which analysis is most useful to
provide the most relevant diagnosis.
As such Non Routine analyses are more time consuming and specialised, they are also more
costly so it is important to provide as much background information on the nature of the problem at the
point of submitting the sample. For two-stroke scavenge drain oil samples, a 250 ml sample may be
difficult to achieve as the engine does not provide large amounts of scavenge drain oil. For this type of
sample, 100 ml is usually sufficient. However it must be pointed out that the results of scavenge drain oil
analysis are reliant upon the quality of the sampling procedure. In addition, it has been shown that the
results can be significantly influenced by contamination with system oil, fuel, partially pyrolysed fuel,
water and inter-cylinder cross contamination, therefore any analysis and subsequent diagnosis must take
this into account. The scavenge drain piping is usually equipped with a closing valve and a sample valve
branching off the vertical piping between the engine and the closing valve. The sample is drawn by
closing the closing valve and waiting until the piping has filled up sufficiently so that a sample of drain oil
can be collected. Unfortunately, it may take quite some time to fill up the piping until the point of the
sampling valve is reached due to the relatively low flowrate of scavenge drain oil in the line.
Sample Information
To guarantee that sample will be analysed without delay, it is vital that the label attached to the
sample bottle is accurate and complete. Key information includes the name of the ship or power plant,
the specific name of the engine, type of lubricant, type of engine, date of sampling and the number of
hours of service. Omission or mistakes made in labelling may delay the analysis of the sample and make
a correct assessment and recommendation impossible. Analysis test kits are routinely delivered to ships
and contain all the equipment &bottles necessary for taking the samples. Additionally, many kits now
contain pre-labelled sample bottles and pre-paid express mail postage bags. Samples can be packaged
and couriered to the nominated laboratory for testing, but care must be taken to ensure that they are
labelled appropriately. Also it should be clearly stated that the package contains used oil samples for
testing to destruction with a flash point greater that 60C, otherwise it is possible that the samples could
be held in transit due to transport safety concerns. Most laboratories can now operate on a 24hr testing
turnaround time from the time of sample receipt if this is required. Though clearly such a fast
turnaround would be unnecessary if samples have been held up in transit for many weeks prior to arrival
at the laboratory. Pre-labelling sample bottles considerably eases this process and reduces the number
of errors that can be made. However, care must still be taken to ensure that the correct pre-labelled
empty bottle is used and so therefore contains the oil from the correct sampling point. It should be
stressed that the interpretation of the used oil analysis results requires a precise knowledge of the
equipment, its operating conditions and a range of other complimentary information in order to offer a
diagnosis of machinery condition. This can include historical data from any known operating incidents
that may have affected the equipment in service, plus environmental information and performance data.
The value of having good additional information from the engineering staff is essential to making an
appropriate diagnosis. It is also important to realise that a full and proper diagnosis cannot be achieved
from the results of just one analysis.

Sampling Intervals
Correct interpretation of the oil analyses results requires monitoring the individual test
parameters as a function of time or operating hours. This allows graphs to be plotted which can be
extrapolated to indicate the normal operating trends of a piece of equipment and therefore what future
results would be called normal. Any significant deviation from these trends can be highlighted by the
analyst so that on-site investigations (by the engine staff) can be carried out to find the cause. Any
analysis made outside this context is very often difficult to interpret. When sampling for oil based
Condition Monitoring (CM) the sampling frequency for systems will vary according to the result of the
risk assessment that is made when the maintenance review is carried out; however in the main it will
most likely be prudent to take samples on a monthly basis until sufficient trends have been established
to allow optimization and thus adjusting the sampling frequency thereafter as appropriate. NB, Care
must be taken however, to ensure that where a condition monitoring tool such as oil analysis is being
used as a protective device, i.e. to highlight the development of a known failure condition, the sampling
frequency must be shorter than the mean time to failure. Without this there will be failures which
remain unprotected. Experience has shown that used oil analysis for CM is less effective where failure
types have particularly short mean time to failure profiles, e.g. liner scuffing or bearing fractures. So, in
order to monitor results as a function of time it is vital to take the oil samples at regular intervals-
typically these will be defined by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or by the oil supplier, but
will normally not be greater than 3 months apart.
Oil analysis, diagnosis & interpretation of results

For any given oil characteristic, caution and action/urgent threshold limits are typically set
up for the oil used within a specific piece of equipment. These are warning values, which once reached
or exceeded require investigation by the engine staff as they indicate a potential problem - if a caution
limit, or they can indicate a more serious specific problem - if an action/urgent limit in the equipment. In
certain instances the laboratory may require further samples to be taken to monitor a condition. This will
form part of their diagnosis and will be included within the oil analysis report. The initial threshold limits
can originate from the OEM and or the oil supplier. If OEM and oil supplier limits are different, at least
during the engines warranty period, the OEM limits should be followed in the first place. These limits
are based on the particular equipment technology and on many years of successful operating experience
& know-how in the field of used oil analysis. For a full understanding of these limits the reader is
directed to CIMAC Recommendation No.29 - Guidelines for the lubrication of medium speed diesel
engines chapter 7 entitled lubricating oil analysis and its significance. It should be noted that these
limits are guidance and may be in certain instances overruled by oil experts, for example after taking into
account other evidence such as the general trend of the test characteristics and supporting information
coming from the staff. It must be stressed that limits must be assessed and amended accordingly on a
system by system basis and also periodically as the data set develops over time. The use of initial
guidance limits should only be considered as part of the set-up process as reliance upon arbitrary limits
offers a false security that by operating within such limits no issues will be forthcoming.

Key Actions required for a correct analysis

In order to enable a full and proper routine or non routine analysis it is essential that:
The oil sample bottles are clean
The oil sample taken is representative of the oil in service,
All supporting details (e.g. sampling point, date,oil name and hours of service) are attached to the
sample container and so are made available to the laboratory
The sample is quickly dispatched to the laboratory

Sampling Procedure

How, when and where a sample is taken from within the lubrication system is very important.
This is because only a very small amount of oil is taken during sampling. A 250 ml sample represents only
a very small percentage of the total oil capacity which can be up to 100,000 litres. It goes without saying
that it is essential to be sure that the sample taken is truly representative of the full oil volume and take
the necessary precautions when sampling oils which may be hot and contained within pressurised
systems, the use of gloves and face protection is advisory. Some general, but key points regarding the
acquisition of representative oil samples include:
Sample when the machine is running at normal operating temperature, never when the
equipment is stationary or cold, or after any significant addition of fresh oil.
Sample from the main supply line of the engine, if necessary arrange to fit dedicated sampling
valves that can be accessed easily and safely.
Always sample from the same sampling point for any particular piece of equipment.
Sample after flushing a small quantity of oil (0.5 - 1.0l) through the sampling point - and
without operating the sampling valve between flushing and sampling.
Whenever possible fill the sample directly into the sampling bottle to avoid any unnecessary
Use only dedicated clean and dry sampling equipment intended for the sampling of used oils.

Good Sampling Locations (System oil)

Not all engines are equipped with sampling valves in the main lubricating oil system when
delivered. It is therefore sometimes seen that the operator needs to remove e.g. a manometer before
being able to take a sample of system oil. It is recommended that a dedicated sampling valve is placed in
the circulating system before the engine entry.
The most representative sample of oil of the quality that the engine is exposed to, is taken from
the lubricating oil system at the engine inlet. The sample should be taken at a location with a full flow
condition to avoid getting the sample contaminated byprecipitated sludge. In the case of horizontal
piping with a low flow condition hence a risk of sludge forming in the bottom part of the pipe, it is
recommended to place the sampling valve in the side or top of the pipe instead of in the bottom.

Reasons for Marine Oil Analysis

Small samples of used oil can reveal an incredible wealth of information regarding the health and
condition of both the machine and the lubricant that is in use to protect its components. Managed Oil
Services can analyse the lubricants from your construction machinery, returning concise information
summarising the wear state of your equipment.

detailing oil condition & fitness for continued component protection

offering recommendation in the event that corrective maintenance is deemed necessary to

prevent expensive, unscheduled downtime

Using various methods of lubricant and debris analysis, a detailed picture of water and
contamination causes can be identified and trended over time to allow early response to potential
failures. Oil analysis provides precise information concerning both the health of machinery components
and the effectiveness of current lubrication protection.

Oil analysis will detect the ingress of dirt, water or other contaminants into machinery -
providing a warning when oil effectiveness is compromised

All marine machinery produces microscopic wear particles through normal, everyday operation

Regular analysis identifies accelerated wear early - i.e. when a component begins to deteriorate -
allowing preventative action to be scheduled before a failure occurs

The chemical balance of lubricants and additive packages is critical & many factors can
contribute to an oil 'wearing out' prematurely. Tribology monitors oil chemistry to warn when
lubrication and additive packages are approaching the end of its operational life
Ineffective lubrication is the single biggest cause of machinery failures - oil analysis provides the
'window' into understanding and controlling the quality of lubrication within your machinery.

Laboratory Tests

Monition's Oil Analysis Laboratory offers a comprehensive suite of testing services. Analysis is optomised
for customer requirements and specific machine components.

ICP AES (Inductively Coupled Plasma, Atomic Emission Spectroscopy) Elemental Analysis

Viscosity (Kinematic viscosity at 40C and/or 100C)

FW (Ferrous Wear Index / PQ)

Water Content

TIM (Total Insoluble Matter) (A measure of Soot and oxidation products)


Dielectric analysis of Chemical Index and Contamination

TAN (Total Acid Number)

TBN (Total Base Number)


Advanced Analysis on Request

4.Purification or centrifuge operation for marine engine oil

Routine oil analysis cannot be used to assess the performance of centrifuges,purifiers and
clarifiers as the tests normally offered cannot differentiate Sufficiently between inlet and outlet
conditions, therefore non-routine tests need to be employed which are based upon appropriate
sampling and particle analysis techniques. Scavenge drain oil (only 2-stroke engines)Scavenge drain oil
can be collected after each cylinder or in a common drain pipe collecting drain oil from all cylinder units.
Taking samples using the common drain pipe should be avoided as the effect of dilution and
contamination between units reduces the opportunity of gaining a useful diagnosis of the effects of
combustion and evidence of wear.

Centrifuge Oil Cleaning

Purifiers are used to clean the oil used on ships and there are heavy oil purifiers, diesel oil purifiers and
lubricating oil purifiers. These purifiers come in various sizes and makes, but their general operating
principles remain the same as well shall see now. Just take a look at the picture below and see what
happens when oil and water (plus other impurities) are supplied to a tank which has the typical structure
shown in the picture. In this case the oil will flow from one side, while water will come out at the other
side and any solid particles would settle at the bottom.

Lubricating oil and treatment- procedure for motor ships

Mineral oils for lubrication are, like fuel, derived from crude during refinery processes. Basic stocks are
blended to make lubricants with the desired properties and correct viscosity for particular duties.
Additives are used to enhance the general properties of the oil and these include oxidation and
corrosion inhibitors, anti-corrosion and rust prevention additives, foam inhibitors and viscosity index (VI)
improvers. The latter lowers the rate of change of viscosity with temperature. Basic mineral oil is the
term commonly used for oils with the additives mentioned above.

These additives enhance the general properties of the oil, HD or detergent type oils are derived in the
same way as basic mineral oils by blending and the use of additives to enhance general properties but
additional additives are used to confer special properties. Thus detergent-dispersant ability and the use
of alkaline additives make these oils suitable for use in diesel engines

Detergent type or HD lubricating oils

The main function of detergent-dispersant additives in a lubricating oil is to pick up and hold solids in
suspension. This capability can be applied to other additives such as the acid neutralizing alkaline
compounds as well as solid contaminants. Thus detergent oils hold contaminants in suspension and
prevent both their agglomeration and deposition in the engine. This function reduces ring sticking, wear
of piston rings and cylinder liners, and generally improves the cleanliness of the engine. Other functions
include reduction of lacquer formation, corrosion and oil oxidation.

These functions are achieved by the formation of an envelope of detergent oil round each particle of
solid contaminant. This envelope prevents coagulation and deposition and keeps the solids in suspension
in the oil. In engines of the trunk piston type with a combined lubrication system for bearings and
cylinders, in addition to the deposition of the products of incomplete combustion which occurs on
pistons, piston rings and grooves, some of these products can be carried down into the crankcase,
contaminating the crankcase oil with acid products and causing deposit build up on surfaces and in oil

Detergent oils are, therefore, widely used in this type of engine, The detergent additives used today are,
in most cases, completely soluble in the oil. There is a tendency for the detergent to be water soluble, so
that an emulsion may be formed particularly if a water-washing system is used while purifying.

Manufacturers of centrifuges have carried out a considerable amount of research work in conjunction
with the oil companies on the centrifuging of basic mineral and detergent lubricating oils using three
different methods of centrifuging. These are purification, clarification and purification with water

The following is a summary of the findings and recommendations based on the results which were
obtained. When operating either as a purifier (with or without water washing) or as a clarifier, all
particles of the order of 35 microns and upwards are completely extracted, and when such particles
are of high specific gravity, for example iron oxide, very much smaller particles are removed. The average
size of solid particles left in the oil after centrifuging are of the order of only 12 microns. (One micron
is a thousandth part of a millimetre.) Particles left in the oil are not in general of sufficient size to
penetrate any oil film in the lubricating oil system.

A centrifuge should be operated only with the bowl set up as a purifier, when the rate of contamination
of the lubricating oil by water is likely to exceed the water-holding capacity of the centrifuge bowl
between normal bowl cleanings. When the rate of water contamination is negligible the centrifuge can
be operated with the bowl set up as a clarifier. No sealing water is then required and this reduces the
risk of emulsification of HD oils.

Any water separated will be retained in the dirt-holding space of the bowl. For basic mineral oils in good
condition, purification with water washing can be employed to remove water soluble acids from the oil,
in addition to solid and water contaminants. This method may be acceptable for some detergent
lubricating oils but it should not be used without reference to the oil supplier.

5. Wear Metal Analysis

Detection of wear and contamination metal by ICP
By means of a plasma spectrograph (ICP) wear metals and mineral contamination
metals can be measured. The results of the spectrographic analysis are recorded in the
form of data showing the concentration of the various chemical elements observed in
ppm (1ppm = 1 part per million = 0.0001% = 1mg/kg). To relate these values to possible
engine damage, it is first necessary to draw up a complete list of all the materials that
may be found in it, and also their location. An example is shown in table 1. The results
obtained are of no significance in themselves and it is only progressive development of
the concentrations, which must be taken into account. A marked irregularity in the
development of the concentrations indicates the necessity for an investigation into any
changes, which may have occurred (change of operating conditions, unscheduled oil
change, oil top up, unreported maintenance work on the engine). A second sample must
be taken immediately for verification. In fact, it is impossible, a priori, to specify alarm
levels for the concentrations, that is to say levels above which the engine must be
overhauled, Wear rates are very variable and depend on several parameters:
Type of operation
Operating conditions
Type of engine and its accessories, etc.