The additive supplier Lubrizol has published a white paper which warns that legacy cylinder oils may not protect ship engines from the variable fuel characteristics of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).
According to Lubrizol, marine bench and engine tests have revealed a ‘high degree’ of variability in deposit formation and combustion characteristics among VLSFO blends, which suggests that the widespread uptake of VLSFO as result of IMO 2020 ‘could lead to increased incidence of engine deposits and costly damage if the lubricants selected by ship operators are not robust enough to maintain engine cleanliness’.
Lubrizol is therefore advising that shipowners should use lubricants ‘specifically formulated for these challenges’.
The additive supplier said that its findings ‘appear to be supported by early reports of high sediment levels – exceeding the specifications in the ISO 8217:2017 marine fuel standard – in many test samples of 0.5% sulphur fuel taken in Houston and Singapore’.
Harriet Brice, technology manager, marine diesel engine oils, Lubrizol, commented: ‘It is clear that some features of VLSFOs introduce variability that will require lubricants with improved deposit handling performance. Using a more robust lubricant will help to reduce the impact to the engine of this variability.’
Click here to download the white paper.