Oil Test Detects Cold Corrosion

Posted by Michelle Howard
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Parker Kittiwake, the global provider of asset control and protection technology, has announced a breakthrough in onboard cold corrosion testing with their new portable test kit. In less than five minutes per test, Parker Kittiwake’s Cold Corrosion Test Kit monitors specific levels of corroded iron in used cylinder oil.

As growing numbers of ship owners and operators favor new generation engines to reduce fuel costs and meet environmental requirements, the problem of cold corrosion escalates. Operating conditions, high sulphur fuels, sub-optimal lubricant feed rates and using lubricant oils with too low a base number can all lead to the formation of sulphuric acid within the cylinder. This in turn causes acidic corrosion to the cylinder liner and can potentially lead to costly repairs for the ship owner. The average cost of a cylinder liner replacement, for example, is approximately $150,000. The severity of this corrosion can be monitored and corrected for by measuring the amount of corroded iron in scavenge drain oil.

Parker Kittiwake’s new, patented, on-board Cold Corrosion Test provides accurate results in a matter of minutes, whereas other on-board tests can take hours. It also negates the need to have samples sent to a laboratory to be analysed. As a result, ship owners can obtain an accurate picture of the level of corrosive elements present in cylinder oil almost instantly, potentially preventing critical damage before it occurs.

This new test also improves significantly upon current tests, which only give a total iron figure, irrespective of it being metallic or corroded iron. When used in conjunction with ferromagnetic analyzers, such as Parker Kittiwakes LinerSCAN or the Shell Analex Alert, the exact wear conditions within the cylinder chamber can be monitored.

Dr. Steve Dye, business development and marketing manager, Parker Kittiwake explained, “Similar tests currently available on the market not only take significantly longer to provide a result, but can only measure the combined quantity of both metallic and corrosive wear. Having separate, accurate, measurements of these distinct elements can help ship operators make informed decisions and take fast, appropriate action against deterioration.

With the addition of the Cold Corrosion Test Kit, the Parker Kittiwake offering now allows ship operators to monitor specific levels of both metallic and corroded iron in used cylinder oil, giving them a comprehensive overview of the operating conditions within the cylinder chamber.”

The Cold Corrosion Test Kit is a simple to use, color-matching test. The test alters the colour of an oil sample, indicating the concentration of non-ferrous iron compounds. The resulting colour is matched up to a reference color wheel that provides a measurement of the corrosive wear present in the sample.

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