Cylinder condition monitoring

The best way to establish how effective a cylinder oil is at protecting and lubricating an engine is to examine scrape down oil samples from an engine’s scavenge drain system. The resulting data can be used as a diagnostic tool for spotting developing problems such as the existence of cold corrosion and wear metals.


Cylinder condition monitoring

On-board oil analysis can help align feed rates to engine conditions and also help vessel operators reduce costs. When properly implemented an analysis regime can contribute towards extending piston overhaul intervals while also helping to mitigate cold corrosion.

For example, ExxonMobil offers Mobil Serv℠ Cylinder Condition Monitoring, which features three tests that analyse scrape down oil to provide a rapid picture of engine and lubricant performance.

Mobil Serv Cylinder Condition Monitoring measures:

  • The concentration of ferrous iron in the scrape down sample, which provides an indication of an engine’s liner wear rate due to abrasive wear.
  • The level of iron salts in the sample, which provides an indication of an engine's liner wear rate due to corrosive wear.
  • The BN level, which indicates whether the engine’s liners are being protected from the effects of the acidic products of combustion or are in danger of suffering from corrosive wear. This test also provides early indication of the dangers of over-lubrication whereby deposit build up can cause significant engine wear.

By regularly carrying out the Mobil Serv Cylinder Condition Monitoring tests operators can fully understand the condition of a cylinder oil and engine. The results can indicate an engine’s susceptibility to cold corrosion, which can help vessel operators identify the most appropriate BN cylinder oil and feed rate for engine protection.

Laboratory-based used oil analysis  

In addition to the on-board checks, it is best practice for scrape down oil to be sent for laboratory-based analysis, which can provide additional insights into the performance of the oil and engine. Our Mobil Serv℠ Lubricant Analysis service offers state-of the art analysis to assess oil and equipment condition. As a result, vessel operators can take corrective action where necessary to maintain the reliable operation of their engines.

A fully featured laboratory programme will provide supplemental data and can offer detailed insights into the condition of lubricants and engine components. The overall assessment focuses on areas that help monitor:

  • Engine condition
  • Contamination levels
  • Lubricant condition

Laboratory-based analysis can also include tests for the presence of water, particulates and asphaltene contamination. 


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