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I have a recollection that on the Regent Falcon it was 6000 psi.

Perhaps I should also check out an old Peoples Home.
Sorry and yes you are correct, remember getting a kick in the backside when changing over fuel return cock to day tanks - dont you realise what the pressure in that pipe is??
Dannic.
 

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High pressure plant

After I left the merchant navy I got a job as a mechanical fitter, with Union Carbide, in a low density polyethylene plant.
At the interview the chief maintenance engineer asked if I had any experience working with high pressure.
At the same time as I said yes he said you won’t have.
What pressures have you worked with? He said. I’ve worked on Doxford fuel gear of 6,000 psi says I. And we tested at 12,000 psi.
Well we work at reactor pressures of 38,000 psi, we test at 75,000 psi and we auto fret at 120,000 psi.
I thought he was letting numbers run away with him but he wasn’t, it was frightening the pressures we worked at but the wages were great and I spent 15 years there. After a period of time they dropped the reactor pressure to 32,000 psi because the plant was wearing on a bit.
The ethylene came into the plant at 5 psi, through reciprocating compressors up to 195 psi, 195 to 550 psi then through a rotary compressor before going into what they called an intensifier which was a huge ram pump, four of them to each reactor.
The big money polyethylene went all over the world for the sheathing on sub sea telephone cable and fetched a tremendous price back in the day. Satellites put an end to that earner so Union Carbide pulled out and BP took over with high density polyethylene but at a much lower pressure.
Auto fretting involved hydraulically pressurising the reactor tubes, which came from the USA, so that they stretched before they were installed in the reactors.
Occasionally things went wrong.When ethylene at 38,000 psi catches fire it’s a sight to behold! Squeaky bum time.

Regards,
Pitcrew.
 

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Did anybody use that Shell oil like cutting fluid used in cooling systems that when mixed with lube oil turned to a grey sludge when coming out the LOP.
Unfortunately, yes on P&OCL's MAN KZs, if you put too much in the header tank at once, it boiled over, but a handful of Epsom Salts sorted it. One voyage the "Horses Head" that carried the coolant to the X Head fell off, the sump resembled Bailey's Irish Cream.

Used a refractometer to check the concentration, and the "Speedy Tester" to find out how bad the sump water contamination was, any less than 5% was a cause for rejoicing.
 

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…..At the interview the chief maintenance engineer asked if I had any experience working with high pressure...

Well you got the job Pitcrew so your Doxford knowledge must have impressed! (Or maybe he recognised that you could work under much pressure).

Hairy stuff you describe for sure. Thanks for interesting post.
 

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Quite right!

But plenty HFO available (now and then) around the middles (and below) when one of those 6000psi pipes split..
I remember having problems sealing the fuel pipes at the top of the ac***ulators but otherwise never had too much trouble.
The Rt-Flex fuel pipes were always leaking at the injectors.
 

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Might have been unlucky Brian, but definitely a few times during 1 trip when pipes to timing blocks split.
(Spare pipe in continuous lengths so cut and shaped to fit). No recurrence after replacement so maybe down to material defects or length of time in service. Certainly made a mess.
Rgds OJ
 

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Might have been unlucky Brian, but definitely a few times during 1 trip when pipes to timing blocks split.
(Spare pipe in continuous lengths so cut and shaped to fit). No recurrence after replacement so maybe down to material defects or length of time in service. Certainly made a mess.
Rgds OJ
Ah timing blocks, one of the new Doxfords.
The first I sailed on was 1947 vintage then a 1957 vintage. The 1957 had timing blocks a huge improvement.
The 1947 was the old style mechanical fuel injectors.
We have come a long way, now with solenoid controlled injectors.
 

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I only sailed briefly on one Doxford and it was no trouble at all. A good unit. However, as a dockyard apprentice, worked on two ships with Doxfords which required regular, and I mean regular, re-metalling and scraping in of main and bottom ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Doxford engines could in no way be described as being sophisticated but the crankshafts were complex, difficult to build but easy to bend and break and they were mechanically very complicated with a huge number of moving parts in each cylinder. As a consequence, they were noisy – not particularly loud but lots of different sounds. Each cylinder sounded different and you quickly became attuned to what was normal and were alert to changes that might indicate problems developing. Counterintuitively, when a noise disappeared it was not necessarily good news as it could be the prelude to something very nasty happening. There is a good YouTube video clip
taken on the top platform on a twin engine ship that illustrates the noises quite well. It is also the case that the Doxford engine controls seemed unnecessarily complicated. Other engines were controlled by a single large hand wheel or just two levers but Doxfords had three levers and a handwheel and if you were unlucky enough to have your Doxford made by North Eastern Marine Engineering you probably had the joy of five levers to juggle – great for octopuses. The Doxford engines we had with cylinder diameters of 670mm and less ran reasonably well but the 750mm diameter engines were fairly bad news. A case of too many millimetres spoiling the broth?
 

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Memories of Doxfords

Tim, Many memories of these old ‘ladies’. First trip at sea was with Ellerman Stricht Line on MV Baluchistan (all steam aux apart from 6LB Doxford main engine). I was a young ‘green’ Junior Eng on my first trip out to the Persian Gulf. Not so fond memories of outward bound. We had to heave to every other day due to water ingress into crankcase/ lib oil from piston cooling water pipe and gland leakages. We were OK on way home (turns out we were running at too low a circulating water pressure, causing cavitation...lol)
Also sailed on Sugar Line’s Sugar Importer, which had a more modern Doxford, with oil cooled lower pistons. No real problems with this model, apart from regularly breaking fuel pumps struts and changing out upper piston CW hoses.
 

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Might have been unlucky Brian, but definitely a few times during 1 trip when pipes to timing blocks split.
(Spare pipe in continuous lengths so cut and shaped to fit). No recurrence after replacement so maybe down to material defects or length of time in service. Certainly made a mess.
Rgds OJ
onboard made fuel pipes would likely have an uneven inner surface, and at 6000 psi this would generate pressure surges in excess of speed of sound! Had this problem on Sulzer HP fuel pipes that had been repaired.

Dannic
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Yes lower piston cw system cavitation was a problem . Tried running both P&J pumps on 75LB6 engines to maximise pressure but pipes still got eaten !
 

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Discussion Starter #34
On reflection what would probably have helped would have been to shut in the outlets to increase the back pressure. But of course not much could be done without major mods.because of the way the P&Js discharged into the tundish.
 

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Former Strick Line ship???
Fuel oil on deck??? unheard off.
Having recently talked with Kieth the 3/E on that voyage, I believe the Chinese 4th was instructed to press up the after HFO tanks whilst crossing the Tasman Sea, this caused the HFO deck cargo to appear the following morning.
Due to low ambient temps the oil was semi solid and required the use of a tempermental steam cleaner to warm it up so it could be scraped up to be poured down the sounding pipe.
I can picture you now in the very off white fridge duffel coat.
Mandama, ex Taupo.
Dave Richards who sailed on her in both liveries said it was a common occurance.
Met up with Harry Curry recently at an ad hoc BSL Geordi reunion.
 

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I had thought that the majority of my sea time was spent with LB Doxfords but looking back into my discharge book I realise that was not the case – it just seemed that way ‘cos lots of “stuff” happen during those times!
The Doxford engine, with its uniflow scavenging and constant pressure fuel injection, certainly had the best fuel consumption of its time and, with no combustion loads transmitted to the structure, were relatively vibration free but …… it was so mechanically complicated!
Main bearings was in a spherical pocket, and each unit had two pistons and so many bearings; three bottom end bearings in spherical housings, three crosshead bearings and slippers, two side rod bearings and a big centre bearing in the transverse beam.
Despite this, the engines up to 670mm bore seemed to run quite well but, of course, the number of components resulted in a large maintenance load compared with single piston engines even when they were running well.
For my sins most of my time was spent with 75LB6 engines and because I didn’t know much different I didn’t realise at the time how bad they were. I think there were only 12 of this size built and our company had six of them and I sailed on 4 of those.
Before they were 4 years old, all our engines had to have new crankshafts due to a design defect. However, they still had a weakness in that No 3 forward and No 4 aft crankwebs were highly stressed at the internal fillet with the adjacent main journal. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the ships themselves were very flexible and resulted in having to be careful with crankshaft alignment and I became quite proficient at threading a piano wire through the engine and the aft engine room bulkhead to the aft peak bulkhead. However that didn’t stop us finding a large fracture in No.4 on one ship and having carried out a sort of repair sailed back to the UK to discover another fracture at No3 as the engine was being dismantled to receive it’s third crankshaft in 12 years.
All these engines kept the likes of Andrews Master Hones and Golten Marine in business machining our journals and pins in situ as we had numerous bearing failures. For reasons I can’t remember we has several failures of bottom end bearings resulting from the white metal breaking up like crazy paving. Other failures probably resulted from locked sphericals and dirt and water contaminated lube oil.
Being non-diaphragm engines it was a battle to keep the oil clean, not helped by high piston ring and liner wear rates, so we fitted larger bottom piston scraper drains and run purifiers continuously and injected trisodiumphosphate to decrease the acidity .
Water contamination was a problem because the bottom piston cooling water system, in addition to the usual gland problems, also suffered for severe erosion and despite setting off with lots of elbows and pipes, there never seem to be enough.
As a consequence of dirty, wet oil we ended up with a very severe microbial attack on one ship and a lesser attack on another that resulted in more profits for the in situ machiners and the airlines flying crosshead pins back to the UK for microfinishing.
This size engine also seemed to suffer for disproportionally high were rates with the transverse pin bearings compare with the smaller bore engines. I wonder if this had anything to do with the exceptional flexibility of the crankshaft? We had a good example of this with the engine with the fractured crasnkshaft; a large steel strap has been fitted around the crankweb and we had to cut a bit of the bedplate away to allow it to rotate. However when we started the engine we found the strap was fouling the bedplate despite there being ample clearance in the static condition!
There were many more issues but I don’t remember feeling bad about them – in my ignorance I just thought that was the way of things when you went to sea as an engineer in the '60s. But then I did my “steam time”………….. and my eyes were opened!
 

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Trisodiumphosphate? we used that as cooling water treatment!!
Dannic.
Hi
I was a junior when you joined thw Colombo and decided not to do the voyage One of my better decisions
I had thought that the majority of my sea time was spent with LB Doxfords but looking back into my discharge book I realise that was not the case – it just seemed that way ‘cos lots of “stuff” happen during those times!
The Doxford engine, with its uniflow scavenging and constant pressure fuel injection, certainly had the best fuel consumption of its time and, with no combustion loads transmitted to the structure, were relatively vibration free but …… it was so mechanically complicated!
Main bearings was in a spherical pocket, and each unit had two pistons and so many bearings; three bottom end bearings in spherical housings, three crosshead bearings and slippers, two side rod bearings and a big centre bearing in the transverse beam.
Despite this, the engines up to 670mm bore seemed to run quite well but, of course, the number of components resulted in a large maintenance load compared with single piston engines even when they were running well.
For my sins most of my time was spent with 75LB6 engines and because I didn’t know much different I didn’t realise at the time how bad they were. I think there were only 12 of this size built and our company had six of them and I sailed on 4 of those.
Before they were 4 years old, all our engines had to have new crankshafts due to a design defect. However, they still had a weakness in that No 3 forward and No 4 aft crankwebs were highly stressed at the internal fillet with the adjacent main journal. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the ships themselves were very flexible and resulted in having to be careful with crankshaft alignment and I became quite proficient at threading a piano wire through the engine and the aft engine room bulkhead to the aft peak bulkhead. However that didn’t stop us finding a large fracture in No.4 on one ship and having carried out a sort of repair sailed back to the UK to discover another fracture at No3 as the engine was being dismantled to receive it’s third crankshaft in 12 years.
All these engines kept the likes of Andrews Master Hones and Golten Marine in business machining our journals and pins in situ as we had numerous bearing failures. For reasons I can’t remember we has several failures of bottom end bearings resulting from the white metal breaking up like crazy paving. Other failures probably resulted from locked sphericals and dirt and water contaminated lube oil.
Being non-diaphragm engines it was a battle to keep the oil clean, not helped by high piston ring and liner wear rates, so we fitted larger bottom piston scraper drains and run purifiers continuously and injected trisodiumphosphate to decrease the acidity .
Water contamination was a problem because the bottom piston cooling water system, in addition to the usual gland problems, also suffered for severe erosion and despite setting off with lots of elbows and pipes, there never seem to be enough.
As a consequence of dirty, wet oil we ended up with a very severe microbial attack on one ship and a lesser attack on another that resulted in more profits for the in situ machiners and the airlines flying crosshead pins back to the UK for microfinishing.
This size engine also seemed to suffer for disproportionally high were rates with the transverse pin bearings compare with the smaller bore engines. I wonder if this had anything to do with the exceptional flexibility of the crankshaft? We had a good example of this with the engine with the fractured crasnkshaft; a large steel strap has been fitted around the crankweb and we had to cut a bit of the bedplate away to allow it to rotate. However when we started the engine we found the strap was fouling the bedplate despite there being ample clearance in the static condition!
There were many more issues but I don’t remember feeling bad about them – in my ignorance I just thought that was the way of things when you went to sea as an engineer in the '60s. But then I did my “steam time”………….. and my eyes were opened!
Hi
I was a junior when you joined the City of Colombo and I decided not to do the voyage
One of my better decisions
Many tears later I met Pete Omerod & Donny McInnis
I sailed with "Willie" Mitchell on the big four
Looking through later crew lists I see many former cadets sailing as 2nds & Chiefs
Many myths & legends were born about that voyage
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Hi
I was a junior when you joined thw Colombo and decided not to do the voyage One of my better decisions

Hi
I was a junior when you joined the City of Colombo and I decided not to do the voyage
One of my better decisions
Many tears later I met Pete Omerod & Donny McInnis
I sailed with "Willie" Mitchell on the big four
Looking through later crew lists I see many former cadets sailing as 2nds & Chiefs
Many myths & legends were born about that voyage
When I came ashore as a superintendent I still couldn't escape the 'Colombo as isheone of my ships. For me, the final straw was in 1973(?) when she had a severe microbial attack in Canada on the crankshaft journals and pins. That was after she got stuck in the ice damaging the bow and prop. requiring to return to the UK and a few expensive weeks in Smiths Dock, North Shields. "Stuff" certainly happened to her on a far too regular basis!
 

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Baluchistan, I coasted her in `72 as 3/E. I needed a few days to make my Sea Time up for Part B seconds. There where a whole "Class" of (Strick) Ships with that, 4 or 6 Cyl Doxfords, (LB`s?) and steam Auxiliaries. A couple had one of the steam Generators taken out (of a hole cut in the hull) and a single 4 Cyl Diesel Genny "inserted". It was suposed to do all the "port work" and save Boiler fuel. But 90% of the time we still ran both the boilers to keep the Steam Derick winches going on out ports when discharging to barges!. Changing out and or repacking Lower piston swinging glands was a regular "field day". Getting it done during the morning watch was good for the 4th, as he had to keep the watch!. (in theory) so the 3rd and Junior where spot ball!!. Heave to, stop the LO pumps, shut off the ofending piston. and "don the gunny sacks" looking like a bunch of Friars!, to try and keep the worst of the dripping oil/water off, with practice we got it down to a matter of minutes!.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Baluchistan, I coasted her in `72 as 3/E. ..............................Changing out and or repacking Lower piston swinging glands was a regular "field day". Getting it done during the morning watch was good for the 4th, as he had to keep the watch!. (in theory) so the 3rd and Junior where spot ball!!. Heave to, stop the LO pumps, shut off the ofending piston. and "don the gunny sacks" looking like a bunch of Friars!, to try and keep the worst of the dripping oil/water off, with practice we got it down to a matter of minutes!.
And people worried about the sun giving us skin cancer! I've just had a small bit of low grade cancer removed from an area that has seen more oil and sludge than sunlight !
 
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