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Fuel & lube oil testing

Marine engines account for a significant percentage of boat cost and value, particularly on larger motoryachts and small commercial vessels. Our testing services are designed to help maintain your engines and generators in top condition.

Fuel testing: Marine diesel quality is not as reliable as you might think. Supply quality from the refinery and wholesaler can be variable, and transportation and fuel storage conditions can have a significant negative effect on final fuel quality, especially where fuel has been allowed to remain in store for extended periods due to low stock turnover (for instance during winter months). In addition EU mandated blending of biofuels (FAME, or fatty acid methyl ester, which is the technical name for biodiesel) in diesel has a knock on effect on marine diesel, sometimes causing measurable residual levels of FAME. Unlike conventional hydrocarbon diesel, FAME is hygroscopic, in other words it attracts and traps water. Raised levels of water in diesel provide conditions in the which bacteria that result in diesel bug can thrive. As the bacteria grow and die, so they create a residue that will collect in the bottom of fuel tanks, fuel lines and fuel filters, eventually blocking them and causing the engine to stop due to fuel starvation. Regular sampling and analysis of fuel gives early warning of raised FAME and water levels, and of diesel bug contamination. This can be dealt with by shock biocide dosing. However this will tend to increase residue initially and may require fuel tanks to be emptied (fuel can be cleaned and re-used) and tanks to be thoroughly cleaned, so as to prevent further ongoing problems.

We can provide fuel sample bottles and rapid turn around testing as a part of your regular service routine, providing a very cost effective alternative to having to deal with an outbreak of diesel bug in your tanks.

Lube oil testing: Lubricating equipment is essential to maintenance and proper function.  Used oil analysis allows you to ensure proper lubrication of your engine or generator and to monitor engine and lubricant health by use of contamination and degradation testing. Our analysis looks for wear debris in which we analyse oil with testing equipment to determine origin, wear mechanism and contamination levels due to metal against metal wear due to poor lubrication or excessive vibration, and also looks for contaminants such as soot and water that may be present due to incomplete fuel combustion or breakdown of piston rings and seals.

We can provide oil sample bottles and rapid turn around testing as a part of your regular service routine, providing a very cost effective alternative to having to repair expensive and possibly catastrophic engine failures in service. Lube oil testing works best as part of a planned maintenance routine, so we would encourage owners to test on a regular basis to get optimum benefit from this service.

If we can assist you with either Fuel or Lube Oil Testing, please get in touch using our Contact Us page or via the link opposite.

 

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