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Timed cylinder lubrication

Cylinder lubrication should be injected in carefully metered amounts. The injection

points should be spaced around the periphery in such a way as to ensure adequate
coverage when the piston passes the feed points. The best timing for injection is
suggested as being between the first and second rings. The difficulties in achieving
this are great, but injecting at TDC and to a lesser extent BDC assists
Lubrication is of the total loss system i.e. the oil is expected to be
completely combusted without residue. The oil is injected through quills which pass
through the liner wall.

Cylinder lub oil properties

The type of cyl l.o. required will depend upon the cylinder conditions and the engine
design e.g crosshead or trunk piston. However, the property requirements are
basically the same but will vary in degree depending upon the fuel and operating
Normal properties required are;
a. adequate viscosity at working temperature so that the oil spreads over the
liner surface to provide a tough film which resists the scrapper action of
the piston rings
b. the oil must provide an effective seal between the rings and liner
c. only a soft deposit must be formed when the oil burns
d. alkalinity level (total base number or TBN) must match the acidity of the oil
being burnt
e. detergent and dispersant properties are required in order to hold deposits
in suspension and thus keep surfaces clean
Behaviour depends upon the temperature of the liner, piston crown and
piston rings. TBN and detergency are closely linked. This can have an adverse effect
when running on lighter fuels with lower sulphur content for any period of time. Coke
deposits are can increase.

Consequences of under and over lubricating

Over lubrication will lead to excessive deposit build up generally in the form of carbon
deposits. This can lead to sticking of rings causing blowpast and loss of performance,
build up in the underpiston spaces leading to scavenge fires, blockage and loss of
performance of Turboblowers as well as other plant further up the flue such as waste
heat recovery unit and power turbines.
Under lubrication can lead to metal to metal contact between liners
causing microseizure or scuffing. Excessive liner and piston wear as well as a form of
wear not only associated with under lubrication but also with inadequate lubrication
called cloverleafing


Insufficient cyl l.o

Incorrect cyl l.o.
Blocked quill
Incorrect cyl at each stroke.

The fine adjustment operates in such away that by screwing it in the

stroke of each pump may be accurately metered. Additionally it may be pushed into
give a stroke enabling each p/p to be tested. The eccentric stroke adjuster acts as a
coarse adjustment for all the pumps in the block. Additionally it may be rotated to
operate all the pumps, as is the case when the engine is pre-lubricated before
starting. Correct operation of the injection pumps whilst the engine is running can be
carried out by observing the movement of the ball

Electronic cylinder lubrication

Exact injection timing of cylinder lube oil is essential for efficiency. A move to
electronics for the control of this has been made by some large slow speed engine
The system is based on an injector which injects a specific volume of oil
into each cylinder on each ( though more normally alternate) revolution of the
engine. Oil is supplied to the injector via a pump or pumps. A computer, which is
synchronised to the engine at TDC each revolution, finitely controls the timing .
Generally most efficient period for lubrication is taken at the point when the top rings
are adjacent to the injection points.
The injection period is governed by the opening of a return or 'dump'
solenoid which relieves system pressure.
Quantity can be adjusted by manually limiting the stroke of the main
lubricator piston, by altering the injection period or by the use of multiple miniinjections per revolution.
The high degree of accuracy with this system allows for lower oil
consumption rates.

Shown is the injector unit fitted to modern camshaftless slow speed engines. The motive
force is via a dedicated or common hydraulic system. The hydraulic piston acts on
multiple plungers one for each quill. At the dedicated time the electric solenoid valve
energises an allows hydraulic oil to act on the piston commencing oil injection. One or
two pumps per unit may be fitted dependent on cylinder diameter and oil flow
requirements. Precise control of the timing of injection allows oil to be delivered into the
ring pack, something which has proved impossible with mechanical means. This has
Pre- lubrication for starting may be built into the bridge remote control system or carried
out manually

Cylinder lubricator quill