Simplex-Turbulo would like to extend a big thank you to our associate at Parker, Steve Dickens, who (by way of video conferencing) is providing essential training to Simplex-Turbulo staff during the pandemic. The latest subject matter was a refresher course on the occurrence of catalytic fines (hard aluminium and silicon oxide particles, commonly known as cat fines) in heavy fuel oil.
Why do operators need to protect their engines from cat fines?
Due to their microscopic size, cat fines are almost an invisible threat, yet have the potential to cause irreparable damage. The soft and unpolished surfaces of cylinder liners, piston grooves and rings, are susceptible to abrasion from cat fines, which embed themselves in the metal and can be as hard as a diamond. Cat fines measure up to 8.2 on the Mohs (mineral hardness) scale and a diamond, the hardest material, is typically 10.
DNV GL Maritime which is the world’s leading classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry (with an emphasis on safety and environmental concerns) has, in recent years, identified an increase in engine damage due to cat fines. This damage has occurred even with standard-treatment bunkered fuel, that is in accordance with ISO 8217 marine fuel specification. One notable incident from 2010 was the direct result of abrasion from cat fines after just 100 running hours. The engine of the vessel was completely inoperable, and all liners and pistons were destroyed.
From our sales team to our service engineers, Simplex-Turbulo has a great insight into the impact of contaminants such as cat fines, and how to reduce wear and tear on your engine. Please click on the link below for our full range of Parker products, including our easy-to-use wet-chemistry test kit, that detects cat fines in order to prevent damage to fuel pumps, injectors, piston rings and liners.