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Major concern in this crankcase.

Posted on October 3, 2017 in Highlighted, News, Useful Resources and Articles | Comments Off on Major concern in this crankcase.

Major concern in this crankcase.

One of our service engineers is on a client’s site working on their Cummins KTA50 engine this week.

Nothing unusual about that, but had he arrived a day or two later, he’d have faced a MUCH bigger problem.

Initially, the operator called to let us know that a lot of smoke was coming from the crankcase breather, and that can be caused by various things – most commonly it’s the piston rings not sealing against the cylinder liner.

This time though, there was more to it.

Once the engineer had done his initial analysis, he found that it wasn’t smoke coming from the crankcase breather.

Instead, it was oil mist, which is a MAJOR concern.

The reality is that in most engines, there will already be small particles inside the engine, but if hotspots develop in the crankcase, it’ll change to mist.

The problem with that?  Oil mist is extremely flammable and there’s a HUGE explosion risk.

The only way to protect yourself from this risk is to make sure the hotspots aren’t present, so here are some key indicators that hotspots have developed that you need to watch out for:

  • High temperature due to the reciprocating movement of the piston
  • Increase in bearing temperatures
  • Sparks entering the crankcase due to leaky piston rings or piston blow past
  • Fires in the adjacent scavenge trunks

The key, as is commonly the case, is to carry out regular maintenance and monitoring of your engine.

Luckily the client took action and we mobilised to prevent a disaster.

The damaged Cummins KTA50 pistons are now at Bartech, along with the connecting rods which can be re-used after inspection and clean. The pistons will be replaced.

The damaged Cummins KTA50 pistons are now at Bartech, along with the connecting rods which can be re-used after inspection and clean. The pistons will be replaced.

If you have any concerns over smoke (or mist) from your engine, email us on info@bartechmarine.com, or give us a call on 01206 791552 to prevent a possible crankcase explosion.

 

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