Analysis of lubricating oil is the most well established of all condition monitoring methods. Barring sophisticated techniques such as Acoustic Emissions, the information contained in used lube oil gives the most advanced warning of the health of the equipment it is in contact with.
While the standard approach to the analysis of used oil has been to concentrate on large systems such as main propulsion engines and hydraulic circuits with a view to understand if the oil is fit for re-use, at SeaTec we have a different perspective – we look at oils from all systems with a view to understand the state of the equipment it is in contact with. While the amount of oil in circulation in a small system may be a litre or two and can easily be replaced, in this case it is the condition of the equpiment we are estimating and not so much the re-usability of the oil.
The analysis of additive elements present in the oil such as Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorous etc, is the domain of the chemist. However, the analysis of the variation of wear elements coupled with parameters such as base and acid numbers, size of particles, ISO cleanliness index, water content etc., is very much the work of the experienced marine engineer. Without a solid back ground in ship’s systems, it is practically impossible to provide useful feedback to the ship operator.
At SeaTec we have combined the strength of one of the largest fluid analysis labarotaries in the world with the expertise of experienced marine engineers. Our report comments individually on the condition of the equipment as well as the condition of the oil providing three indices of health – Satisfactory, Alert and Critical. Every test result is manually checked and scrutinised. Our clients which include the world’s largest ship owner and the world’s largest ship manager, bear testimony to the usefulness of our service in preventing machinery breakdown.
Bunker Oil Analysis Programme
SeaTec’s fuel oil analysis for bunker fuel consists of a series of specified tests undertaken as per the ISO 8217 standard and in compliance with MARPOL Annex VI requirements.
The standard approach to the analysis of fuel oil is to ensure that bunker fuel meets ISO 8217 as a legal requirement. SeaTec offers this service with the help of one of the world’s largest fluid analysis laboratories and by providing a global sample pick up service and online reporting. SeaTec aims to offer the highest quality testing standards, accredited to ISO 9002 and ISO17025 as well as aiming to provide the fastest turn-around time based on a combination of the latest laboratory equipment, global sample pickup, single point of contact and online reporting. Samples are analysed on the day of delivery with the ability to report on the same day.
SeaTec’s experienced marine engineers will provide reports with full engineering comments, interpretations and support in the event of any ‘off-specification’ fuels. Thereafter, results are stored on SeaTec’s interactive website and can be retrieved via a client password protected access area. Every test result is manually checked and scrutinised, and the system’s reliability enjoyed by clients bears testimony to the effectiveness of the service.
Fuel oil analysis includes tests for density, API gravity, viscosity at 50oC and at 100oC, upper pour point, flash point, water and ash content plus an elemental analysis which identifies carbon residue, sulphur, vanadium, sodium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, iron, lead, nickel, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and sediment. The test results will also include the CCAI, calorific value, recommended minimum transfer temperature and the recommended temperature required at injection. Furthermore, the tests can provide evidence of whether the bunker fuel has been mixed with any other substance such as waste lubricating oil.