Engine Fluid Sampling

Engine-Fluid-BoatEngine Fluid Sampling

Checks for water and fuel dilution on all engine samples. Elemental analysis indicates, in parts per million (ppm), the amount of wear on engine components and also gives indication of the additives package element levels (Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Zinc).

The presence of certain elements in combination can also lead to checks for other contaminants. For example, high Sodium and Potassium with increased Copper can indicate that a check for coolant presence is desirable, using a separate chemical test.

Samples are drawn from engines while hot and sent to an Oil Analysis Laboratory to determine quantity & identity of metals in suspension. An opinion is offered on what course of action, if any, should be taken.

While having a specialist engine surveyor aboard is always desirable (and costly), you may consider Oil Sampling a convenient way to decide, after you see the results, whether you require his/her services.

With an identified sample of the new fill oil(s) it is possible to perform an Infra-red Analysis comparison of the used oil to the new oil reference. This will provide indications on Soot, Sulfation, Oxidation, and Nitration (Nitration is primarily for natural gas / propane engines).

Hydraulic samples:

(includes bow thrusters, stern tubes / prop shaft baths, and steering systems for marine applications) Water content and wear metals are the primary tests for these compartments. Particle count analysis can also be performed (this is usually not requested by marine customers, but is not prohibited).

Marine Gears:

  • The same tests are performed as on Hydraulic Samples.

Coolant tests:

Level I Coolant Analysis may be performed. This is a basic coolant test which monitors the level of nitrites in the coolant, boil/freeze protection, physical traits (color, precipitate presence, appearance, unusual odor, etc), and conductivity.

When the results have all been collected interpretation of the results are provided, along with a detailed description of the findings. We also give a color-coded overall evaluation;

  • Green – No Action Required,
  • Yellow – Monitor Compartment, and
  • Red – Action Required.

If anything is found to be at emergency levels the customer is contacted by ’phone to advise of the problem (excessive water presence, fuel dilution, coolant contamination, or extremely high element levels are examples).

  • Lab results may be forwarded by mail, fax, and email, whichever is preferred.

Typical turn-around time for oil samples is 24 hours (working days) from the time they are received in the lab – not from the time they are sent.

Level II Coolant Analysis can only be performed at Caterpillar in Peoria, Illinois. An additional fee is made to cover courier charges. It can take one to two weeks to get results of Level II Coolant Analysis due to shipping time and the work load of the Caterpillar Fluids Lab. Level II Coolant Analysis is recommended only if the Level I results are found to be out of spec.

Fuel testing. Basic tests, including Flash Point, Distillation, and Specific Gravity.

Keep in mind that beyond the basic tests, more sophisticated can be conducted if properly briefed. If it is merely suspected that the quality of a single tank of fuel is in question, it may be less expensive to properly dispose of the fuel and refill the tank with new fuel.

An extra charge is made to courier the samples, which gives us the result earlier.

Includes a written report.

Fuel Tank Water Content Testing:

Providing that the tanks are fitted with accessible sounding tubes or plugs, we carry gear to determine how much water is in the tank directly under that tank access. If the only access is through the tank filler fittings, this requires that access be relatively straight in the vertical plane.

Captain Paul F. Squire

Captain Paul F Squire

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There are many requirements that an insurance company expects the Fort Lauderdale owner of a vessel to comply with, including a mandatory marine insurance survey. When you need marine consultants in Fort Lauderdale, it would be wise to contact the most widely sought after vessel insurance inspectors in the area, Simex International – Marine Surveyors in Fort Lauderdale.


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