21Apr2014Headlines:

Unstick Piston Rings on Marine Vessels

Unlike your car, to unstick piston rings when overhauling or servicing big ship engines could be a harder task than many mechanical engineers anticipates due to the size of marine vessel engines. This has played havoc for many mechanics as they work to unstick marine piston rings and other components. Size comes with many advantages but also carries many inconveniences when the time to service or repair them arises.

Unstick Piston Rings

Unstick Piston Rings

The shipping industry must install huge engines and propulsion components on board marine cargo vessels due to the sheer size and weight they carry, this means working with engine parts that may be hundreds of times the size on normal car parts like the engine pistons. He engines could carry 24 to 36 or more pistons each measuring a staggering 12 to 15 feet in size. This means that each one is far too big to be handling by people even when free and sliding inside the piston chamber.

For many reasons like overheating and melting, broken internal parts like air valve among many others cause the piston to let jammed inside the cylinder. In these cases the process to unstuck piston rings from the piston sleeves or engine block could get much uglier than one anticipates. For this particular reasoned many marine ships are readily installed with a back up engine to propel the vessel to the next big harbor or ship yard were professionals who can unstick piston rings or fix the damaged engine may be found.

Many marine vessels have a mechanical engineer that is capable of fixing most of the problems on board but some problems like to unstick piston rings is a task that requires lots of effort, man power and machines to be able to unstuck piston rings that are jammed in a ship engine piston cylinder. The task is considered relatively simple on automobile and train engines sine there are many presses that are manufactured of their size and in some cases just adding some lubrication and hammering using a wooden rod and mallet may be enough to unstick piston rings.

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This engineering difficulty is clear when you understand the size on components involved on board marine vessels; it is not possible to the vessels to install smaller engines since they will not supply enough power to move the vessels incredible weight. Marine vessels are usually divided into different segments and in many cases each piston and sleeve and cylinder head are detachable and can be replaces if there is considerable damage discovered after the engineer unstick piston rings and manages to release the jammed parts.

Many smaller engine blocks are found as one piece

Unstick marine piston rings

Unstick marine piston rings

and the replicable parts are usually the piston sleeve, in this case if one was to burst his engine block he would require to changes the whole engine block. Marine engines are a little different since they are assembles in parts so in case a part on the engine block is damaged then a replacement for the section can be installed thus avoiding to changes the whole engine block and lower the repair cost of the engine.

To unstick piston rings on a marine vessel is not a task to be taken for granted since the part sizes are huge and this increases the chance of injury when working on these parts and should be left to professionals if one has no experience in engineering.

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David is designated a Naval Aviator and has held a variety of operational and staff assignments.

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