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TRIBOLOGY IN MARINE APPLICATIONS


What is TRIBOLOGY?
The word tribology appeared in 1966. Tribology is a multidisciplinary science dealing with friction, wear, and lubrication of interacting surfaces in relative motion (as in bearings or gears). Tribology finds applications in all industrial sectors including the aerospace, automotive, construction, biomedical, textile, optical, mining, petrochemical, machinery&tools, paper, transport, power generation, microelectronics, military, metallurgy, agriculture and food industries. It is a so-called 'enabling technology' that makes it possible to develop new products and processes. Lubricants are divided into the following groups: gaseous, liquid, cohesive and solid. Among these, the gaseous lubricants are insignificant because construction costs for gas or air lubrication are very high. Lubricants should not only reduce friction and wear, but also dissipate heat, protect surfaces, conduct electricity, keep out foreign particles and remove wear particles. Liquid lubricants The advantages of a lubricating oil, as compared to a grease, are improved heat dissipation from the friction point and excellent penetrating and wetting properties. The main disadvantage is the complex design required to keep the oil at the friction point and prevent the danger of leakage. Liquid lubricants include fatty oils, mineral oils and synthetic oils Fatty oils are not very efficient as lubricating oils. Even though their lubricity is usually quite good, their resistance to temperatures and oxidation is poor. Mineral oils are most frequently used as lubrication oils, but the importance of synthetic oils is constantly increasing. These offer higher oxidation stability, resistance to high and low temperatures And long-term and lifetime lubrication. Anti-corrosion and special release agents are special products which also fulfil lubrication tasks. Cohesive lubricants Cohesive lubricants are used when the lubricant should not flow off, because there is no adequate sealing and/or when resistance against liquids is required. The lubricant types play an essential role nowadays, since it is possible to achieve long-term or lifetime lubrication with minimum quantities. Cohesive lubricants include lubricating greases, lubricating pastes and lubricating waxes. Their task is to protect surfaces, conduct electricity and keep out foreign particles. Lubricating greases are based on a base oil and a thickener, which imparts the cohesive structure and one or more additives. They can be used for elasto-hydrodynamic, boundary or partial lubrication. 1

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Complex greases generally have a higher drop point, are more resistant to oxidation, liquids and vapours. Synthetic thickeners are most resistant to temperature. The main advantage of a lubricating grease over an oil is that it remains at the friction point for a longer time and that less effort is required in terms of design. Its disadvantage is that it neither dissipates heat nor removes wear particles from the friction point.

Lubrication designed for the next millennium


Modern machinery features higher production speeds, higher temperatures and increased machinery loading. So what has been happening to improve lubrication performance in hostile running conditions?

Modern synthetic lubricants have fast become the accepted and most effective means of raising performance characteristics of lubrication. Designed to operate in a wide range of running conditions these products offer features often lacking in standard mineral oils and greases. Synthetic oils and greases have been available commercially for more than 45 years. They are chemically produced to capitalise on certain characteristics unique to that molecule. The range of products is almost infinite. However, each synthetic family has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. The following are the more common synthetic base oils.

Polyalphaolefins ( PAO ), often referred to as synthetic hydrocarbons (SHCs) Polyglygol ( PAG ) Di-Ester Polyol Ester Phosphate Esters Silicones Halogenated Fluids Fluorinated Fluids

Polyalphaolefin products generally offer most scope. PAO synthetic oils are large unbranched molecular chains manufactured by polymerisation of olefins, a molecule not dissimilar to basic ethylene. This process can be used to produce controlled molecular fluids with predetermined physical and chemical properties. This differs greatly from conventional refining of mineral oil, where large mixes of varying molecules and undesirable elements are refined to a set quality limit. Obviously, to extract the desired lubricants from crude oil we must take a compromise of desired and undesirable molecules. In extreme service conditions this is often the limiting factor in successful use of mineral oils. The SHC product range has very similar compatibility characteristics to that of mineral oil. For this reason, SHC products have found favour as no complicated changeover procedures exist. Probably the main reason for introducing SHC technology into industrial lubrication systems, be they based on oil or grease, is to combat downtime. The implications of serious production downtime due to premature component failure are compounded during extreme running conditions. It has been recognised for years that, as the temperatures to which oils and greases are subjected approaches the upper limits, a rapid reduction in both lubricant life and component protection occurs. 2

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It is now common to see bearings subjected to temperatures of in excess of 100 C. With limited cooling effects, this has led to high bearing race temperatures and reduced lubricant efficiency. The problem of running at such high temperatures is two-fold: * Problems associated with the breakdown of mineral lubricants in service. * Problems associated with inadequate oil film generation in service. With high temperature applications such as circulation systems, the upper limits for high quality mineral oils have historically been set at approximately 110 C. These products will perform at temperatures beyond this, however product life is reduced in all cases in all applications, such as hydraulics, gears and turbines. The main reason for this upper limit is oxidation. As bulk oil temperatures are raised, or the mineral oil is subjected to localised overheating in areas of low flow, then degradation of the oil takes place. This is normally viewed as a darkening, with deposit formation in extreme cases. The deposits are often seen in localised areas as carbonaceous material or lacquers. A great deal of research into mineral base oils and stable high temperature additives has led to improved mineral oils. However probably the most success has been gained with the SHC oils and greases. The natural ability of SHC products to perform at elevated temperatures has long been recognised. Typically, the upper operating temperature for continual operation is set in excess of 150 C, with greases performing beyond 200 C. There is high resistance to oxidation, which is of course accelerated at elevated temperatures. The ability to reduce thermal degradation is a major achievement in reducing deposits and extending filter life. Figures often quoted give increases in oil charge life in excess of 400%. Instances of blockages in oil circulation systems can lead to severe starvation and ultimate failure of bearings and gears in service. As temperatures are increased, oil temperatures within the bearings or gears are increased with the increased risk of deposits. Although quality mineral oils are designed to counteract these effects, if left unattended degradation may occur. For this reason regular oil condition monitoring has been a focus in systems to predict charge life in service. Use of SHC technology however can be used to extend the service life of both oil and filters, reducing the risk of blockages. In any non-conforming surface, such as an anti-friction bearing or gear mesh, it is possible to generate extremely high pressures in normal running conditions. This rapid increase in pressure within load zones is responsible for the sharp increase in oil viscosity due to pressure. The rise in viscosity is so great that the lubricant performs as a glass-like solid in the Hertzian contact area. As the lubricant is now deemed a solid, the metal surfaces in the Hertzian area deform and surface separation takes place. This is known as the elastohydrodynamic condition (EHL) and it is desirable. If, however, the running conditions or original lubricant viscosity are incorrect, metal/metal contact occurs. 3

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Factors affecting EHL conditions can include: Oil viscosity at service temperature Surface speeds Surface geometry Surface finish Oil viscosity characteristics (viscosity index/viscosity lubricant parameter) Once a surface geometry and finish have been selected, (for example, a bearing or gear selected), these parameters are fixed. However, changes in production will inevitably lead to changes in service temperature and speeds. This is an area often neglected in practice, with a reduction in component life being the result.

A number of options are open at this stage. A change in a viscosity grade may cover the conditions satisfactorily, hence a recent trend towards higher viscosity products in some applications. However, the more common method is to capitalise on the natural high viscosity index offered with SHC products. This high viscosity index (VI) allows for thicker oil films to be generated in service when compared to the more temperature sensitive mineral grades. This ability to maintain oil films even at elevated temperatures allows for reductions in wear with reduced surface distress. Owing to high film strength and selective additives, the conventional metal-to-metal contact wear types are adequately catered for with the SHC products, but in addition fatigue protection is important. Fatigue rates are in part affected by the shear forces required to move the molecules over each other within the load zones. These shear forces are dramatically reduced in SHC fluids. Ultimately this is responsible for increases in fatigue protection of between 200% and 1000%. This reduces fatigue defects in non-conforming surfaces such as gears and bearings, leading to extended component service life. By controlling the fluid within the load zones it is possible to reduce the effects of both pitting and spalling of surfaces. Many mineral lubricated gears and bearings exhibit this failure mode during routine condition monitoring. An area of great interest has been studying the unique energy-saving aspects of oils and greases. Again looking to the uniform molecular structure, it is possible to improve the efficiency of certain machinery. Probably the most commonly documented machinery is the standard gearbox. Comparing to a high quality mineral oil, use of an SHC of the same viscosity can lead to significant reductions in running temperature, often in excess of 10C . The implications of this reduction can be extremely important. Not only is the operating viscosity naturally raised 4

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by reducing the temperature, but the oil film at operating temperature is increased. In extreme cases, this increases component service life due to reduced wear. By temperature reduction, the effects of oxidation and deposit formation are also reduced and in many cases completely eliminated. The reduction in temperature is therefore partly responsible for further drain interval extensions and increased filter life. In extreme cases it may also reduce seal leakage due to a higher operating viscosity. However, an area becoming more evident is the reduction in energy consumption. Synthetic products can reduce energy costs by between 2% and 10%.

Increased wear protection Increased fatigue protection Reduced deposits Increased filter life Increased drain intervals Wider operating temperatures Compatible with mineral oil Compatible with associated paints and seals Energy savings

Synthetic Lubricant Compatibility

With Mineral Oil Mineral oil SHC (polyalphaolefin) Di-Ester Polyglygol Phosphate Ester excellent excellent Good Poor Fair

With Paints excellent excellent moderate moderate very poor

With Elastomer excellent excellent poor poor poor

Myths about lubricants Don't believe everything you hear about selecting the proper lube for the job Here is a sampling of some of the myths, misconceptions and misinformation surrounding lubricants, as well as the underlying realities. Because lubricants can be exposed to harsh operating conditions in many applications, in most cases, the benefits of a superior lubricant outweigh the costs. 5

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(1) Myth: Inexpensive greases are cost-effective Fact: Lubricants that cost less are often made with lower performing raw materials and may be manufactured with lower quality control measures. Lower quality can lead to problems, malfunctions and - ultimately - costly downtime. (2) Myth: Adding more lubricant can't hurt Fact: More bearings are ruined by over-greasing than by under-greasing. Switch lubricants instead. As grease is added, pressure builds within the bearing housing, especially in full or non-vented housings. Excessive pressure accelerates the process of oil "bleed" or separation from the thickener. If the separated oil drains away and leaves a bearing packed only with thickener, friction will cause the bearing to fail. (3) Myth: Silicone lubricants are highly priced Fact: Silicones are more stable, withstand a broader temperature range and offer better chemical resistance than their conventional counterparts, so often outlast them. To guarantee a lubricant will correctly meet the needs of an application, it is important to match the product to the job. There are four major operational variables in an application:

load environment temperature speed.

Determining whether a lubricant can withstand the load-carrying capacity of an application is critical to selecting the proper lubricant. Dispelling some of the myths about certain lubricants and their load-carrying characteristics may help make specifying the right product an easier task. (4) Myth: Extreme pressure lubricants must be formulated with high viscosity fluids Fact: Solids and surface-active additives can replace high viscosity fluids. Maintenance lubricants that contain solids or surface active additives are available for use in extreme pressure, moderate-to-high load and speed applications. Some high performance synthetic greases, for example, withstand high bearing loads. They lengthen lubrication intervals in high load, high speed applications. High viscosity fluid greases do not provide these same capabilities. (5) Myth: PTFE solves all extreme pressure lubrication problems Fact: While PTFE is a good wear inhibitor, it is not the primary choice for load-carrying capability. Try molybdenum disulfide or graphite instead. (6) Myth: All silicone-based lubricants are poor extreme pressure lubricants

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Fact: True of most, but fluorosilicone-based bearing greases may be used, for example, to protect heavily-loaded roller bearings from high pressure, metal-to-metal contact inside a die roll. (7)Myth: A harsh operating environment leads to frequent lubricant and bearing replacement. Fact: Proper lubrication under harsh operating conditions lengthens maintenance intervals and decreases equipment replacement. (8)Myth: All effective lubricants must be wet like an oil, or semi-solid like a grease. Fact: Dry, film bonded lubricants can be used as effective long term, extreme duty lubricants. Those containing molybdenum disulfide or graphite are very high performance lubricants. (9)Molybdenum disulfide causes corrosion on metal Fact: Well formulated, molybdenum disulfide products address corrosion problems effectively. (10) Myth: The highest temperature rated grease is the best choice for all applications, because it covers the widest temperature range. Fact: Lower-rated greases are more stable at lower temperatures. (11)Myth: Mineral oil-based lubricants perform effectively and continuously above 140 C. Fact: Mineral oil-based lubricants have increasing volatility over 125 C. (12)Myth: The higher the dropping point, the higher the operating temperature of the grease. Fact: The dropping point of a lubricant is not a true measure of performance at high temperature. Based on the separation of the fluid from the thickener at high temperatures, the figure has a very limited relevance to a grease's melt point or functional range. For example, the realistic operating temperatures of petroleum-based greases are up to 55C below their dropping points. (13)Myth: Only fluid lubricants can be used on high speed bearings Fact: Speeds approaching 1 000 000Dn have been achieved with some newer, high performing greases, which do perform well, even when high speed is combined with high load. (14)Myth: The more molybdenum disulfide in a grease, the better Fact: Excessive molybdenum disulfide in a grease can reduce its ability to resist separation.

How particles can act as catalysts in oil oxidation:


Oxidation drastically affects the quality of a fluid. The following conditions promote the oxidation process: 7

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* Presence of * Mechanical * High * High * Catalysts (water and metal particles)

oxygen

(aeration) agitation pressure temperature

Metals and various mechanical impurities act as catalysts in accelerating oxidation. The smaller the particle, the greater the surface area represented in the population and the more effective the catalyst. Copper and steel particles are extremely active catalysts in oxidation reactions, and the resulting products actively corrode metallic surfaces in the system. Metal particulate- type catalysts cause rapid oxidation at the beginning of the process; then, it proceeds at a steady, but lower, rate to the end. Through-out the oxidation process, not only do the fluid and additives degrade, but other activity occurs. For example, a thin, hard deposit builds up on all working surfaces of the system, and elastomers are solubilized because the fluid constantly degrades and loses its compatibility with the system materials. Metal particle catalysts (stainless steel, copper, and low carbon steel) significantly effect the oxidation of hydraulic and lubricating fluids. Not only do these particular metal particles increase the oxidation rate, but they greatly increase polymerization of the fluid, creating products of high molecular weight. Even when oxidation inhibitors exist initially in the fluid, in the presence of metal catalysts, such inhibitors can be quickly used up, allowing oxidation reactions to accelerate

Water contamination and how it chemically reacts with additives and component surfaces.
with a high operating temperature (above 140 deg. F), water reacts with and destroys zinc type antiwear additives. For example, zinc dithiophosphate (ZDDP) is a boundary lubricant that reduces wear in high-pressure pumps, gears and bearings. When this additive is depleted, abrasive wear accelerates rapidly. This will show up as premature component failures, resulting from metal fatigue and other wear mechanisms. "An inspection of failed components can point to another type of water damage. Aluminum and zinc alloys may have a whitish oxide coating. Bearings and gear surfaces may show signs of pitting. These are signs of corrosion damage. When subjected to water, a bearing will often fail long before reaching its full life expectancy. Besides corrosion, water contributes to shorter component life by lowering viscosity, which reduces the thickness of the fluid's lubricating film. When the film drops below a critical thickness, wear increases rapidly. "The most obvious sign of water is rust and corrosion that show up on metal surfaces. The inside top surface of the reservoir is the first place this is likely to appear. Unless the reservoir is designed with a removable top, inspection of the inside surface may be difficult. It could require the insertion of a small mirror through a pipe plug or other access port, and illumination supplied by a flashlight. This discourages frequent inspections. The time it takes
"Combined

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for rust to appear inside the reservoir depends on the surface treatment used to protect the metal. Usually, water does a lot of damage to system components before rust is noticed." Electric Motor Bearing Lubrication Faces New Challenges The past 10 years have seen a quiet revolution in electric motor bearing relubrication. Adherence to
fundamentally sound practices, such as ensuring work area cleanliness during relube and following electric motor OEM lube selection and relube interval recommendations, has gained acceptance as standard operating procedures. Accordingly, many lubrication-related electric motor bearing failures have been reduced.

As bearing relubrication methods have improved, new lube-related challenges have emerged. These include the practice of running motors at higher speeds, which results in higher bearing temperatures, and the increasing use of variable frequency drives in electric motors, which can negatively affect both bearing and lubricant. To counter these new challenges, industry is responding with solutions such as advanced polyurea-based greases and hybrid bearings that feature ceramic rolling elements. Hybrid bearings have lower lubrication requirements than standard steel bearings and are excellent in many lubedfor-life electric motor bearing applications Insulated bearings, such as the SKF InsocoatTM bearings shown here, feature ceramically coated outer rings. They prevent potential bearing and lubricant problems caused by electrical currents.

New

Long-Life,

Low-Noise

Grease

Although some electric motor bearings, such as those used with vertical motors for submersible pumps, are oil-lubricated via a sump system, the vast majority of motor bearings are lubricated with grease. Greases are composed of a base oil and a thickener, which carries the oil between its latticelike fibers. Base oils include mineral and other natural oils, and synthetic oils for high-temperature operation. Common thickeners include polyurea, lithium, calcium and sodium. Additives, such as antioxidants and antiwear compounds, are normally included in the mixture. Recently, SKF selected an advanced rust-inhibiting, polyurea-based grease as the standard fill for its U.S. electric motor bearings. The new grease has a longer life expectancy and better quietness characteristics than the previously used polyurea grease. It is compatible with other polyurea-based greases and lithium greases, which are widely used in industrial applications. To lubrication technicians and maintenance organizations, this means a reduced risk of grease in compatibility problems when relubricating. There have also been improvements in bearing technology, providing electric motor OEMs with alternatives to all-steel bearings in some demanding applications. The use of variable motor drives is more prevalent today than in the past. These drives allow electric motors to change speeds and to operate more efficiently. But they can also cause electrical currents to travel through motor bearings. Strong electrical currents can damage bearing surfaces, causing pitting or spalling. Even currents not powerful enough to cause bearing damage can produce localized hot spots and burn the grease, destroying its effectiveness. One potential solution is the use of hybrid bearings or insulated bearings in some variable frequency applications. Hybrid bearings contain ceramic rolling elements; insulated bearings feature a ceramic

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coating on the bearing outside diameter. Both hybrid bearings and insulated bearings are nonconductive and are designed to prevent current-related problems. In addition, hybrid bearings have lower lubrication requirements than steel bearings and can be substituted for steel bearings in some lubed-for-life applications. Both sealed and shielded electric motor bearings are normally considered lubed for life. In other words, the life expectancy of these motor bearings is dependent on the life expectancy of their lubrication. Motor bearings without seals or shields, on the other hand, are usually designed to be relubricated

The

Effects

of

Water

Contamination

In a lubricating system, the two most harmful phases are free and emulsified water. In journal bearings for example, the incompressibility of water relative to oil can result in a loss of the hydrodynamic oil film that in turn leads to excessive wear. As little as one percent water in oil can reduce the life expectancy of a journal bearing by as much as 90 percent. For rolling element bearings, the situation is even worse. Not only will water destroy the oil film strength, but both free and emulsified water under the extreme temperatures and pressures generated in the load zone of a rolling element bearing can result in instantaneous flash-vaporization causing erosive wear to occur

Shell Strombus MP
Emulsifiable Lubricant for oil filled stern tubes where excessive leakage past the outer seal is experienced
Shell Strombus MP is designed specifically for oil-filled stern tubes, particularly in the event of leakage. It is mainly used for the lubrication of stern tube bearings and protection of tail shafts in systems incorporating lip seal stern tube glands, but also some face seals. The vast majority of ships today are fitted with oil lubricated stern tubes. The stern tube bearings and the tail shaft are required to operate reliably, often in extreme conditions due to vibration, water ingress, flexing of the vessel s structure, movement of the vessel in heavy seas and with variations of speed and temperature. Shell Strombus MP was specifically designed to be compatible with Shell Strombus T and with diesel engine oils used for stern tube lubrication. It is also suitable for the lubrication of the fin shafts of certain retractable stabilisers.

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________________________________________________________________________ ____

Main Application Stern Tubes where an emulsifying type of oil is required _____________________________________________________________________________ Benefits of using Shell Strombus MP A high level of lubrication and protection against corrosion in the presence of water. An emulsion which is sufficiently fluid to circulate around the stern tube bearing oil system. No need to reduce the concentration of sea water emulsified in the oil until it is over 20%. Comparable performance to mineral oils normally used for stern tube lubrication. Accepted by most leading seal and bearing manufacturers. Suitable for stern tubes with circulatory systems. Suitable for Viton or Nitrile seals.

_________________________________________________________________

Typical Physical Characteristics Shell Strombus MP Kinematic Viscosity Density Flash Point Pour Point 40 C 15 C Closed Cup Test IP 71 IP 365 IP 34 IP15 Result 273 0.900 200 -5 Units mm2/s kg/l C C

These characteristics are typical of current production. Whilst future production will conform to Shell's specification variations in these characteristics may occur. Additives for Grease Chemical additives can significantly alter the performance of lubricating greases. Factors influencing additive selection are:

Performance requirements (product application) Compatibility (synergistic/antagonistic reactions) Environmental considerations (product application, odor, disposal, biodegradability) Color Cost

Most of the additives described are chemically active; that is, they produce their effect through a chemical reaction either within the lubricant medium or on the metallic surface. Chemically active additives include: 11

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Oxidation inhibitors Rust and corrosion preventatives EP/antiwear agents

Structure modifiers and thickeners could also be included in this category, as well as polymers which improve adhesive and water-resistance properties. Chemically inert additives, on the other hand, affect a physical property of the grease such as structure, rheology or water tolerance. Chemically inert additives include:

Viscosity modifiers Pour-point depressants Antifoam agents Emulsifiers Demulsifiers

Grease Additives Surface Protective Additives Additive Type Purpose Typical Compounds Functions Chemical reaction with metal surface to form a film with lower shear strength than the metal, thereby preventing metal-to-metal contact Preferential adsorption of polar constituent on metal surface to provide protective film, or neutralize corrosive acids

dithiophosphates, Antiwear and Reduce friction and Zinc EP Agent wear and prevent organic phosphates, acid scoring and seizure phosphates, organic sulfur and chlorine compounds, sulfurized fats, sulfides and disulfides Prevent corrosion Corrosion and Rust and rusting of metal parts in contact with Inhibitor the lubricant Zinc dithiophosphates, metal phenolates, basic metal sulfonates, fatty acids and amines

Friction Modifier

Alter coefficient of Organic fatty acids and Preferential adsorption friction amides, lard oil, high of surface-active molecular weight organic materials phosphorus and phosphoric acid esters

Performance Additives Viscosity Modifier Reduce the rate of Polymers and copolymers of Polymers expand with viscosity change methacrylates, butadiene, increasing temperature with temperature counteract oil olefins or alkylated styrenes to thinning

Protective Additives Antioxidant Retard oxidative Zinc dithiophosphates, Decompose peroxides decomposition hindered phenols, aromatic and terminate freeamines, sulfurized phenols radical reactions 12

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decomposition Metal Deactivator

hindered phenols, aromatic and terminate amines, sulfurized phenols radical reactions

free-

Reduce catalytic Organic complexes effect of metals on containing nitrogen or sulfur, oxidation rate amines, sulfides and phosphites

Form inactive film on metal surfaces by complexing with metallic ions

Oxidation Inhibitors Like lubricating oils, greases under oxidizing conditions yield unstable materials called peroxides. Once formed, peroxides quickly decompose to form other materials which are even more susceptible to oxidation. The process is a chain reaction which is accelerated by increased temperatures and which is catalyzed by certain metals particularly those present in soap-based thickening agents

Bearings
The MC engines were originally designed with white metal bearings for crosshead, crankpin and main bearings. The main bearings were of the so-called thick shell design, whereas the crosshead and crankpin bearings were of the thin shell design. Thin shell main bearings The development towards higher specific engine outputs has resulted in the gradual introduction of the thin shell design for the main bearings, too. All new engine types, small bore as well as large bore, introduced since the late eighties, have thus been provided with a modern thin shell bearing design, offering the possibility of using stronger lining materials. Sn40Al (tin-aluminium), which has been applied with great success on the main bearings for the smaller two-stroke engines, has been introduced on the S46-70MC-C engines, on which good service has been experienced since the first engines of this type entered service approx. two years ago. On the small bore engines (26-42MC), the Sn40Al main bearings have been in service for up to 30000 hours, with good results. In addition to the above, an advantage of the thin shell design is the reduced risk of fretting

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corrosion between the main bearing saddle and shell when the bearing housing is well designed. Running-in on testbed and during sea trials has in a number of cases caused light seizure of Sn40Al main bearing shells on the S-MC-C engines. This seizure can be avoided either by prelubrication with grease or high-viscosity oil, or by PTFE-coating of the running surface of the shells. The Sn40Al bearings have been introduced on the engine with the same well-proven specific load level as that for white metal bearings. However, the stronger bearing metal will provide the possibility to increase the specific load in the future, whereas today it is solely used to enhance the safety margin. Thick shell main bearings The design of the thick shell bearings has been updated in order to ensure reliable performance. The major updates are summarised in the following. Optimum Lemon Shape (OLS) shells, Fig. 1, have been introduced to increase the minimum oil film thickness. Elasto-hydrodynamic bearing analysis shows that the minimum oil film thickness is increased by 30-40% compared to the previous standard. Furthermore, service experience has confirmed that OLS-shells are less sensitive to development of fatigue cracks in the bearing metal. Vertical guide pins, Fig. 2, have been introduced in order to guard against misalignment between the upper and lower shells, which otherwise might create an oil scraper-edge.

A further design update involves the introduction of stricter symmetry tolerances at the sidewise guides for the main bearing cap. Adherence to these tolerances will prevent bulges in the shells caused by non-symmetrical positioning of the main bearing cap.

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Alignment aspects in relation to main bearings In the past few years, difficulties have been experienced in aligning the crankshaft of large diesel engines, in particular in large tankers. Traditionally, crankshaft alignment on large tankers, as well as on other vessels, has been performed based on a precalculated vertical position of the bearings, as well as of the main engine as such and, possibly, also involving an inclination of the entire main engine. Upon completion of the precalculated alignment procedure, it has been the normal practice to check the alignment by means of a bearing load check (normally a so-called jack-up test) and by measuring crankshaft deflections. Such checks are normally carried out either in a dry dock or afloat alongside at the yard in a very light ballast condition. Owing to repeated cases of bearing damage, presumably caused by a lack of static bearing loads in normal operating conditions (ballast and design draught), we have introduced modified alignment procedures for bedplate and shafting (crankshaft and propulsion shafting) as well as modified vertical offsets of main bearing saddles. The modified bedplate alignment procedure is described in a new quality specification in which the so-called sag of the bedplate is introduced in order to counteract hog caused partly by hull deflections due to loading down of the vessel, and partly by deformations due to the heatingup of the engine and certain tanks. Fig. 3 shows bedplate deformations measured by the piano-wire method, on the topflange of the bedplate on the exhaust side and on the camshaft sid of a 7S80MC installed in a VLCC. For this engine, a bedplate sag of 0.4 mm was the aim during alignment in dry dock.

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As can be seen in the diagrams, no major change was recorded between alignment conditions in dry dock and in the afloat condition. Therefore, our quality specification allows for bedplate alignment and the pouring of chockfast supporting chocks in dry dock for vessels where shipyards have such experience. Previously, we recommended aligning afloat. Furthermore, it is seen that when the engine is in hot ballast and in hot design draught conditions, an optimal compromise with respect to bedplate alignment in service conditions is obtained withthe pre-chosen sag of 0.4 mm during alignment. In the quality specification, we have included recommendations for bedplate sag for all engine types in the MC/MC-C programme. The quality specification also contains guidelines for the shaft alignment procedures necessary to obtain an equal bearing load distribution among the main bearings in operating conditions on large vessels. Furthermore, in order to facilitate this optimum load distribution among the main bearings, the previously mentioned offsets in the bedplate at the main bearing saddle have been introduced in the aft end of all MC/MC-C engines. Fig. 4 shows deformations as a result of staybolt tightening for the two alternative designs of staybolts:

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A: The traditional long single staybolts used until a few years ago on all major twostroke engine makes B: The short twin staybolts introduced on newly designed MC/MC-C engine

Both designs cause deformation of the main bearing bore. However, as can be seen, the twin staybolt design causes much smaller deformations. Apart from ovalising of the main bearing bore, the tightening of staybolts results in elevation of the bore. This elevation is much smaller on engines with twin staybolts. They have introduced offsets for some main bearing bores to counteract different elevation caused by staybolt tightening, especially in the aft end of the engines where the thrust bearing structure provides extra resistance to this elevation. Furthermore, offsets have been introduced at main bearing bores where staybolts are omitted, i.e. on some designs where the aftmost main bearing bore (the so-called journal bearing position) does not have staybolts adjacent.

Service improvements

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Service improvements resulting from the use of thick shell main bearings can be illustrated by the service history of a large series of container vessels equipped with S70MC engines. In positions where damage occurred, the following modifications were introduced: 1: Optimum Lemon Shape shells with vertical guide pins 2: Offset journal bearings 3: Re-alignment of the shaft line on one (1) vessel As will be seen in Fig. 5, modifications have significantly improved the main bearing condition.

3 month moving average Damage index

Fig. 5: Container vessel series (8 ship)Main bearing, thick shell design

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