The challenge: contaminated and quickly ageing lubricant
The lubricant of marine diesel engines is loaded differently, depending on whether it is a four-stroke or two-stroke *). In principle, however, the entry of impurities into the lubricant is unavoidable: particles, water and blow-by gases enter the lubrication system as a result of combustion and wear processes, environmental conditions (temperature changes, climate zones, etc.) and during repairs and cleaning work. Impurities accelerate oil oxidation and additive degradation and cause early oil decay — even with high-quality and expensive lubricants such as synthetic oil. Since frequent refill and change intervals cost money and pollute the environment, efficient lubricant filtration and sensible fluid management are essential. Contaminated and rapidly aging lubricant has a serious impact on operational safety, availability, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of ship operations.
*) The lubricant of four-stroke engines is usually more heavily loaded because there is only one lubrication system and combustion residues quickly contaminate the entire lubricant source. Two-stroke engines, in comparison, have two separate lubrication systems — one for bearing lubrication and one for cylinder lubrication. In this way, combustion residues do not contaminate the complete lubricant source and the lubricant for the cylinders remains clean (lost lubrication).