Crankcase Explosions On board the Reina Del Pacifico - Page 2 - Ships Nostalgia

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Crankcase Explosions On board the Reina Del Pacifico

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Old 30th March 2015, 10:17
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Exclamation No I didn't-----

Originally Posted by Jim S View Post
Phil -what a terrible experience you had with the idiot closing the manhole door on you. There has been at least one story of an engineer being accidentally shut inside a boiler in the manner you describe and when released the shock had turned his hair white - True or Anecdotal - who knows.
The idiot was lucky you did not hit him. I am guessing you did not report the incident - dismissal would have been too good for him.

Jim S
-----report him Jim, it never crossed my mind actually.

He was an ex-Army bloke who thought he "knew-it-all" and was as popular as a dose of c***s.

He did 11 voyages-------1 Out, 1 Home. Salaams, Phil
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Old 30th March 2015, 13:27
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Duncan112 Duncan112 is offline  
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Here is a link to the scavenge space tragedy - although I suspect it's not the first time it has happened.

I commend Bob's Maritime Accident Casebook to you all - he is currently trying to improve safety on Philippine inter-island ferries as well as promoting general marine safety.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana (1863 - 1952)
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Old 30th March 2015, 21:58
Bill Morrison Bill Morrison is offline  
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Hi, Can anyone recall a case where I think it was two persons whither shipyard or ships personnel I can't remember. An inspection of a stabiliser was being carried out. Access was through a hatch which required the stabiliser to be fully retracted. For some reason while they were in the space, the stabiliser was operated and in doing so cut off access to the hatch and any means of escape.
I am almost certain it resulted in fatalities. I read it in either the Motorship Magazine or Shipbuilding and Engineering which used to circulate round the smoke room this was in the mid 1960's
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Old 8th April 2015, 02:09
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ben27 ben27 is offline  
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good day march.2015.21:27.#27.have read your must have been hell for that yong officer.nobody paying attention to the telltale rag,and nobody would say if they had seen him.i wonder how there lives went on board after that.may the young officer rest in peace.regards ben27
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Old 18th April 2015, 22:24
BERRIET BERRIET is offline  
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MV Reina Del Pacifico

MV Reina del pacifico

Good morning gentlemen,

I went through all messages and the court report.
This case is very interesting, sorry for its horrible issue .Just to discuss a bit further more about it ,
I have some concerns – interrogations about ‘’how it happened ‘’, and ‘’ why ‘’.Sourcing the root of the failure is always delicate, and many interrogations arise from there or there.
So , one day the shipowner ask for repairs , overhauls , and many works .A list is received by the yard ;then , at ship arrival generally you go on board , and have a technical meeting with superintendant and chief engineer. It’s always good to know how the engines are, if they are suffuring of abnormal temps , if the ship has been drydocked recently or not , if one of th engine is to be kept at no more than 70% load , because otherwise , they expect to size up pistons.
Then , works start ,and after a while , you have 48 pistons , 48 liners , in the workshop.
1) I suppose, pistons were fully inspected for cracks ,
Then , fully measured to see if they were still recondition able ;one critical thing is the material height remaining between piston grooves , as engine manufactueurs , especially with such large bores , give you maximal material that can machined out , the game is to let enough material in between rings grooves so that no cracks occurs later , within the engine; of course , you have to fit the pistons then with new rings of new height , that give the original ; this gives you a bit more friction , a bit heavier ring that will , after many running hours , slap harder and deteriorate again the groove ; today , machining piston grooves is not so common, it depends of the owner ;

2) Then , this is time of decision ,and to take responsabilities , for the yard and for the shipowner
For quite and almost new pistons : ok , check , clean up , and pull back in engine .
For pistons that are easely controlled , checked , with enough material for milling , machining , OK , recondition and pull back in engine .
For the discarded pistons….troubles are coming; ‘’why to discard this one ? it’s nothing , this one will last some more thousand hours ; it will be replaced later ; it’ expensive to fit new pistons ; delivery time is too long ; I don’t have other spares pistons , so this one , this one , and this one , are the best among the discarded ones , and are to be pull in the engine’’ ;these are words that can be heard in many repair yards .
3) for the liners ;checks are : cracked or not , worn out or not ,oversized or not ;honing process to be conducted with skilled and experienced people ;in the 30s , I suppose cast iron flakes were possible ,and when reconditioning liners , material flakes could leave the inner walls of the liners , during running in of engines ;
as it’s a trunk engine , piston play the role of a crosshead , so 0,6 mm clearance is OK , with a diameter of 630 mm ; normally , such big low speed , trunk , direct drive engines had also
so sort of ‘’rubbing belt , or rubbing ring ‘’ , below and above piston pin axis , to guide the piston , to center it ; as for more recent RND M engines from Sulzer , they were fitted also with these kind of rubbing rings , this to avoid contact of the pistons upper parts with the liner ; Sulzer considered that with running hours , due to normal wear of piston , liners ,,a contact could happen , and then lead to piston size up .
Normally , the position of the piston in its liner is crtical for RND M engine it is mor ‘’confrtable ‘’ as it is a crooshead engine , but for a trunk engine , this is critical ; positioning of the piston is made by the quality of the liner itself ; straight wall , perfect circle ,and landing of the liner in the frame ;the piston will have to face the lateral reaction , the torque given by the propeller , so the liner where it push on , laterally , has to be neat ; also , it’s a reversible engine , both sides are concerned .

4)one thing about engines having years of service:: landing , seatings faces between liner in water jacket , and water jacket in the frame ; this is to be checked , as fretting marks , fretting surfaces leads to misalignment of liner axis with frame axis ,and with cranckshaft axis .till it’s a matter of misalignment on starboard or portside , OK , it will only create few failures ;but , the most dangerous is misalignment on fore or aft , then it’s critical ; piston will follow the liner , and for sure , major failure will occur ; you can see the contact pattern on the conrod shell , only landing on a side , and engine room staff saying ‘’ we’ve got to change the sheel severy 500 hrs , but why?’’; the shell contact pattern then looks like a half moon and risks of major disaster is there .By the way , on this case , they were also cracking brand new liners too.Every 1000 hrs then.
Landings can be a mess , and all units mixed on a same engine , and between engines .They can be machined in a workshop ashore to keep landing faces clean , but , with the time , less and less material is kept on waterjackets ……
It’s perpetual discussions in the office with the yard and superintendant : who take the responsibility of pulling back the discarded pistons , liners , because it’s too expensive to pull in new ones ? or, ‘’ok , these ones will last a few more thousand running hours , they will be replaced at first opportunity , we will care to not go over 70 % load on this engine ‘’

It’s a ship with 48 units, all alike, and why not mixing?
Preparing some 4 or 6 units to face a failure at sea , or to replace one unit when TBO is achieved ;
But , if some water jackets were machined ( to remove the fretting maks ) , and so was the frame landing for this particular landing , then as added a shim of a calibrated thickness ,this , all in all , to get the correct bumping clearance ; but , as the time pass , knowing these details can be lost , mix up can be done , wrongly , by misknowledge ; then later , you tight the cylinder head on it , you squeeze liner in water jacket , in turn in he frame ; then you have a certain position of the cylinder axis .And troubles arises ‘’ combustion pressures to hight , too low “”; then people put their hand on fuel racks , for MM3 per stroke , then want to check injection timing ; where is the TDC , and so .Engine is out of balance , firing pressures hard to egalize . Maybe this happened , as the ship was sailing for 17 years .If the engine is not design with ‘’powerpacks’’ , for easy maintenance , you don’t play with that ;each unit is to be kept in its place .
Another thing : major overhaul leads to tension release within the structure of the engines , as you pull out a huge mass from the engine; then frame stresses are released , deformations occurs ;before overhaul , measurements of crankshaft deflections are to be done , and one thing to know is that these engines were certainly over 8 meters long , so deformations are inevitable; this affect highly landings of liners ; typically , when cold , engine bedplate are seated to get a concave seating of about 0,12 to 0,15 mm ; when at running temp , you are normally at zero ;
5 ) governors : were they of the all speed type ( aspinal ? ) ;as these are low speed direct drive engines , they have to be tested on a bench , to see fuel rack mms according to the speed ; springs inside can be smashed ,worn , and could lead to engine overrunning ( the engine achieves its maximum power before achieving its corresponding rpm ) ;this I sa big factor of having engine over heating ;as the ship had 4 engines , I suppose some people were dedicated to keep an eye on the governors index , as well as on tachometers , to make sure that the load ( ship displacement ) was taken by the 4 engines , equally ;if not , some engines will achieve higher temperatures ;factor not to be forgotten , as I foresee that a lack of comprehension and management happened at sea trials ; as well as fuel injection pumps ; one fuel pump was faulty , ok it happens , regarding the 47 others pumps .
6) engine tuning : timing chain set I proper position, valve overlap hecked ( as it was a turbo charged engine , valve overlap is of high importance , it allows to cool down inlet exhaust valve , as well as piston crown , and upperpart of liner walls ;incorrect timing creates overheats ; also , it decreases volumetric efficiency , so , less air is trapped , less air scavenge the combustion chamber , consequence : all temps rises , oil film on liner walls is cooked , piston crown temp rise , it deforms , clearance decreses dramatically , piston size up is about to come …..
For injection pumps :timing was it measured before overhaul ? recorded? Then, nozzles were new ones ? or the same ones ‘’reconditionned ‘’, were the spray patterns ok on the pistons crown? No marks of bad injection? References of the nozzles to be checked , number of holes , diameter , spray angle ; otherwise , you spray fuel oil on inner liner walls , so by by lub oil , you burn he piston crown , and again , temps rises , dilatation, piston sizes up.
Smoke : what was the aspect of the smoke : chef engineers always keep an eye on it , light grey , no colored ; if thick black , problem.

7 )heat balance , thermal efficiency : all auxiliaries were overhauled ? sea water pump, fresh water pump , oil pumps, separate oil pmp for piston cooling ? were all diaphragms , nozzles , by pass valves , cheked ? as piston were oil cooled ( BW engine ) , were these temps and pressure cheked ?
Were All 48 pistons receiveing proper flow of oil ? if not , of course you get major failure .
Heat exhangers ( for oil , for fresh water ) were checked ? efficiencies measured by recording the temps before the arrival at the yard ? any comments from the chief engineer ?
Turbo charger , linked with the engine valves timing overlap : was it ‘’upgraded ‘ by BBC , or not ; was air and gas nozzles checked ?
Fuel consumption of engines: were these values known before overhaul, and abnormal
Indicators cards ; a full set of 48 cards to look at at arrival of the ship.

8 ) when overhaul works are coming to the end , and trials concerns arise s, a meeting is again organized .
First , if the yard proposed it in its financial and technical offer, you stated that one or two days will be spent for preludes , heats up , deflection , turning gears engaging to check that all oil flows through the engine , that no air pockets remains in piston crow ( risks of failure )or in water chambers ( liners cracks )
Then you proceed to starts without fuel , all cyl heads vents open ,to see if no water jerk out
If electrical turning gear, note the intensity: as the engine was overhauled, you have a higher value, than before in the same condition , and also if stern tubes packing glands were overhauled , and new material putted in .
All values before starting are noted, with temps and manometers indicators in good order .

Next day , as exemple , you proceed to double , triple the mooring by one , or two by two , with enough people , you proceed to starts up , for 2 minutes ,carefull listening of the noises , then stop, turning gear engaged , open all doors , check inside , touch inside for abnormal heat there and there ( piston skirt at bdc , main beaings , conrod , rockers arms )
Then close down , start again , for 5 mns , same checks
Then 10 mns, for 20 mns and stop.
At the same time , you checked and noted also temp of thrust bearing , oil water , exhaust , noted values and behavior ( slow ? jiggling ? )of governor , and speed ; the only load then is the one corresponding to the idle speed ( this engine , probably 30 rpm ) , with pistons , liners ,Babbitt in bearings , and stern tube material not runned in .

Next day , you leave for sea , with objective to run in all 4 engines at the same time , with normally dedicated people at certain places , in the engine room , to record and check teps and press .Typically , this kind of engine will need to have , 5 rpm of load increase every half an hour , and then , for example , after going over 6O% load ( around 70 rpm ? ) you will increase speed by steps of 5 rpm every hour .at each point , full records of datas are tobe done , then , values are to be immediately compared in between engines , the load must be shared on 4 engines ; this to lead to a neat run in .Indicator cards to be taken after 50 %load , before , peak pressure can be measured with a ‘’ kiene ‘’ device . 48 units running at the same time require a lot of people around to care of the engine , so , preparation of the trials is to be done days before .
It is to say that when you do the complete overhaul , it is your responsibility to lead the run in then .
If something wrong happen , ok , you reduce the load , look if things cool down , then , after 20 mn , you reload , step by step .If any doubt , ok , stop this engine , and no one touch it till we go back to the yard for examination .

As a conclusion, reconditioned pistons , mixed with new liners , parts no fitted at the good place , lack of management during the sea trials ( one people stop an engine , after a few minutes , someone else start it up …this is non sense .) For the disastrous explosion and its
horrible issue , may be the engine was certainly having a non-well conducted run in ( as ship staff and yard staff were not talking to each other , apparently, no common discussion , too much people touching to this and this….. ) , in conjunction with pistons , liners ,reconditioned , suffering of non-detectable cracks , and with poor margin to support extra heat and stress ;with these defects , heavy 630 mm pistons pushing , with lateral reaction , started to created huge heat due to friction , oil heats up , cooling oil for piston heats up , piston heats up , clearance reduces , size up begins ; someone stop this engine , so no fuel oil is injected , but for sure , this engine still turns , by its own inertia , and by its trailing propeller ; in the engine , bits of material , hot spots exists , in a mist of oil , at hight temperature ; when someone else starts up the engine , of course , huge amounts of air is injected in these big cylinders ( 630 mm by 1200 mm stroke ) ;this air probably went through scratches and sizing up marks , and even , by possibly cracked piston ring grooves , and this air then , arrives within the crankcase, then, mix with hot oil mist , and detonates , ignited by hot spots .
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Old 19th April 2015, 02:20
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YM-Mundrabilla YM-Mundrabilla is offline  
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Thank you Berriet. You have obviously put a great deal of work into your summary and whilst I have no marine experience I know that your summation applies in so many areas of mechanical maintenance where money may well override good engineering practice.
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Old 19th April 2015, 16:44
BERRIET BERRIET is offline  
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Originally Posted by YM-Mundrabilla View Post
Thank you Berriet. You have obviously put a great deal of work into your summary and whilst I have no marine experience I know that your summation applies in so many areas of mechanical maintenance where money may well override good engineering practice.
good morning Mundrabilla ; yes , thank for your message .It's a kind of situations i had to deal with ,formerly i was in charge of repairs in a yard, and i was the engineer in charge ( financial , technical , on board for trials , ..... and as the time was passing , i get bored of it , and resign.I get really concerned about this dramatic event , as i really lived same ''almost like '' accidents or ''incidents'' ; my father is now retire from he merchant navy , now he tells me his stories , and at 3 oppotunities , in 36 years of service at sea , he admitted that the ship could have been lost with all hands ( 1 container ship , known in the early 80's as ''steel tombs container ships '' , as their stability , when built , was ''no so confident'' , 1 LNG carrier , in the mid 80's , with a storm , a huricane on the harbor ,while loading LNG , all mooring lines snapped , pilot shouting '' leave the ship , it will explode '', no tugs wanted to rescue , finally , the captain ,a 200 % responsible and corageous captain , order t leave , as for full ahead , monouvered , and the ship , lukily , found its way to the high seas , and all ended well ; lng splashed on main deck , safety automatic valves closed , it was a well maintained ship , not new , but with serious people on board ;1 steam leak on a VLCC , steam went throuht my father 's coverall , hopefully ''only '' burnt a piece of skin at rear of his let shoulder ; You all people on this site , thanks for discussing , it's really great moments to share all these events .

Thank , best regards .
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Old 19th April 2015, 18:02
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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Had a crank-case explosion in a generator aboard Glenroy in the Gulf of Aden in July c.1951. It spread and set the port main engine on fire.
A very anxious afternoon: Captain Simmonds sent me down to see how they were getting on. Couldn't recognise any of the engineers, they were in a hell of a mess.
Came up and out of the engine room and all the crowd were there filling extinguishers as fast as they could: bosun Foh Art Tze told me all refills been used up!
No casualties, continued into Aden on one engine: glad not to have been an engineer, as if they hadn't had enough they now had the mess to clear up in Aden in July!
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