British Valour-Crankcase Explosion.

David Campbell
13th August 2008, 02:09
I came across an interesting item in Martins Marine Engineering Website-Library Section, under Accidents-Reports of Interest.

The crankcase explosion on the BP tanker "British Valour", on 18th. March 2001. What intrigued me was the ship's engine type given in the MAIB Report as a B&W UEC 75 LLII.

Having sailed on both B&W and Mitsubishi UEC, I am familiar with both but not a Composite. I found out that the British Valour was originally the "Elizabeth Maersk" 5/1993, IMO 9002609.

Does anyone know more of the incident and this type of Main Engine?

Tony Breach
13th August 2008, 10:33
David, I am most certainly not an engineer but Lloyds gives the engine as a
Mitsubishi 8UEC75SII of 31,995 bhp.

Tony

David Campbell
14th August 2008, 05:12
Tony. Thanks for that. Is the vessel listed both as the British Valour and Elizabeth Maersk? Regards. David.

Tony Breach
14th August 2008, 21:21
Hi David,
BRITISH VALOUR is listed as ex ELISABETH MAERSK & BRITISH VIGILANCE is listed as ex EMMA MAERSK. Both vessels are listed as owned by A/S D/S Svendborg & D/S af 1912 A/S but managers are given as BP Shipping Ltd., Douglas IOM. This would seem to indicate that both were demise chartered from a Danish company to BP. The Lloyds List of Shipowners indicates that the owners were still part of the Maersk group.
Tony.

David Campbell
15th August 2008, 04:53
Thanks Tony. David.

tankerman2
22nd October 2008, 16:31
This must be well after my time on the "Valour". She was a steam turbine in 1973

Satanic Mechanic
23rd February 2009, 16:32
ah now this incident is still shrouded in secrecy and for good reason:

ALLEGEDLY :rolleyes:

There was a primary and secondary crankcase explosion which near wrecked the engine room. described by one of the engineers as 'being like Beruit" (unfortunately this was picked up on later an he got in trouble for racism or some such thing - needless to say he then walked out of the company).

Turns out the piston crown had burnt through due to poor fuel valve atomisation - so of course bp instantly tried to blame the 3/E until the class investigator pointed out that bp had been supplying substandard pattern parts.

Report unsurprisingly disappeared into thin air (actually I have a copy -but you can't see it - sorry) and 3/E left the company furious shortly afterwards.

Bob Fleming
7th March 2009, 21:41
Read an independent account and investigation of the incident at :
http://www.gov.im/lib/docs/dti/shipregistry/valour.pdf

Bob Fleming
7th March 2009, 22:01
Engine type was:

Mitsubishi UEC Diesel Engine
Model: UEC75LSII
Two stroke, single acting, turbo charged, crosshead marine diesel engine with direct reversing. Maximum continuous rating 23535kw, (32000bhp) at 84 rpm.
Serial Number: 3597

Derek Roger
7th March 2009, 22:12
I dont understand how the burning through of the piston head would cause a crankcase explosion in an engine as described ?.
Scavenge space perhaps but even then the piston would be water cooled so dont understand that either ?
I was unable to open Bob Flemming' link as Im having computer problems ; perhaps the answere is in that link .

Cheers Derek

Bob Fleming
7th March 2009, 23:03
From the Flag State investigation report:

"Ships staff conducted crankcase and scavenge space inspections. They found no obvious hot spots in the crankcase that could be expected to have initiated the explosion, there were however cracks and oil found on the crowns of no 1 and 6 pistons. Upon dismantling, the crack on no. 1 piston was found to be a hole through to the piston cooling oil space. This allowed direct communication between the combustion space and crankcase through cooling oil passages and considered to be the heat source that initiated the explosion. The reason for the crown failure was abnormal wear and a reduction in material strength due to erosion from fuel impingement. The reason for the external oil mist ignition was failure of the flame arrestor to function as designed/anticipated. Following repairs to the engine and safety and control systems, the vessel proceeded under her own power to her nominated discharge port, completed cargo and subsequently travelled to dry dock in Portugal for permanent repairs and repainting."

David Campbell
8th March 2009, 01:30
Bob and Derek. The MIRB report was the one I quoted. The UEC engine I sailed on, "Iron Clipper", had water cooled pistons but it would appear that UEC might have adopted, B&W patented Oil Cooled Pistons, hence the confusion.
Someone who sailed on the vessel might care to explain. Regards David.

Satanic Mechanic
11th March 2009, 02:49
I dont understand how the burning through of the piston head would cause a crankcase explosion in an engine as described ?.
Scavenge space perhaps but even then the piston would be water cooled so dont understand that either ?
I was unable to open Bob Flemming' link as Im having computer problems ; perhaps the answere is in that link .

Cheers Derek

Its actually quite simple - the pistons are oil cooled - there is a direct path from the piston crown cooling chamber to the crankcase as it drains back there. The crankcase always contains a flammable atmosphere - so a holed head provides a nice flame path to the crankcase = primary explosion, faulty relief doors = secondary explosion

Satanic Mechanic
11th March 2009, 02:57
Read an independent account and investigation of the incident at :
http://www.gov.im/lib/docs/dti/shipregistry/valour.pdf

Got a copy of the Lloyds one?

Derek Roger
11th March 2009, 15:47
Its actually quite simple - the pistons are oil cooled - there is a direct path from the piston crown cooling chamber to the crankcase as it drains back there. The crankcase always contains a flammable atmosphere - so a holed head provides a nice flame path to the crankcase = primary explosion, faulty relief doors = secondary explosion

Thanks for that ; I did not realise the pistons were oil cooled . Regards Derek

Satanic Mechanic
12th March 2009, 08:38
Its an interesting point though - what would have happened in water cooled piston , on the other hand best not (EEK)

Derek Roger
12th March 2009, 17:32
On a Sulzer the piston cooling return would be disturbed and visable in the sight glass .
After stopping the engine the unit would fill up with water and when restarted ( if unnoticed ) the result would be as you indicate !
A lot of hard work !!!

Certainly would not have been a crankcase explosion .

Derek

Satanic Mechanic
21st April 2009, 23:06
Got a copy of the Lloyds one?

Aye - you can almost hear the tumble weed