Parker Kittiwake launches onboard cat fines test

The new Parker Kittiwake cat fines test kit gives results in minutes rather than requiring samples to be sent for laboratory analysis The new Parker Kittiwake cat fines test kit gives results in minutes rather than requiring samples to be sent for laboratory analysis
Industry Database

A new kit enables operators to test for potentially damaging cat fines themselves rather than sending oil samples for laboratory analysis.

The new chemical bottle test from Parker Kittiwake is said to detect cat fines – the abrasive particles that can be found in distillate fuel as a result of the cracking process – onboard and in a matter of minutes.

If tanks are not cleaned regularly, sediment containing cat fines can cause wear to fuel pumps, injectors, piston rings and liners. The new test, combined with laboratory sampling and other onboard condition monitoring, provides ship operators with an accurate picture of the corrosive elements in their engines.

Parker Kittiwake highlighted the challenges of the cat fines issues, noting recent guidance from Veritas Petroleum Services – citing the persistence of cat fines even in fuels whose ignition and combustion characteristics have tested well – as well as increasing insistence from insurers that ship operators comply with their guidance on reducing cat fines risk.

Larry Rumbol, condition monitoring market development manager, Parker Kittiwake, said: “As more emission control areas (ECAs) come into operation, there are growing concerns around fuel quality and the number of engine-wear situations related to cat fines are increasing. Research has shown that even small cat fines particles of below 10µ contribute to wear, and we also know that high-wear cases had bunkered fuel oil within the limits of the ISO 8217:2005 specification, which dictates a maximum of 60ppm.”

The use of non-ISO compliant fuel, faulty fuel purifiers, or simply rough weather kicking up fines from the bottom of the settling tanks are all capable of introducing these particles into the fuel system, Rumbol noted.

“The Parker Kittiwake Cat Fines Test Kit provides an accurate and easy-to-use forewarning of these destructive particles and give a vessel’s crew maximum opportunity to take corrective steps,” he concluded.

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