- Easily used by ships maintenance staff right out of the box
- Instant indication of condition for motor bearings, gears, compressors, slewing rings, hoists, winches...
- Plan maintenance and have the spares available on time. Minimise off-hire and demurrage.
The flash point of a fuel is governed by prescriptive international legislation. For marine users, Safety Of Life At Sea regulations set out the limitations that apply to fuel oil and SOLAS II- 2, regulation 4 includes the following statements:
- Except as otherwise permitted [by this paragraph], no oil fuel with a flashpoint of less than 60ºC shall be used
- In emergency generators, oil fuel with a flashpoint of not less than 43ºC may be used
Flash Point is the temperature at which vapour is given off which will ignite when an external flame is applied under standardised conditions.
A fuel flash point is defined to minimise fire risk during normal storage and handling. The minimum flash point for fuel in the machinery space of merchant ships and many land-based installations is 60°C. Even when residual fuels are at a temperature below their measured flash point, they are capable of producing light hydrocarbons in the tank headspace causing the vapour composition to be near to, or within, the flammable range.
Testing agencies frequently quote the flash point of a fuel sample as greater than 70°C. When the temperature is below this value an actual value is quoted. A low fuel flash point can be indicative of fuel contamination by a more volatile product. The incidence of a flash point contravening the legal requirement is negligible, but it must be appreciated that it does happen from time to time.
Flash point of a fuel sample will change with time. Low flash point fuels should be isolated and handled carefully. The fuel supplier and insurance company (Classification Society, P&I club, etc) should be consulted immediately. Debunkering of low flash point fuel is the only real option in most circumstances.
- Be very careful of low flash point fuels
- Never consider using crude oils in an engine or fuel storage system
- Heating temperatures should not be excessive. Fuel dilution has a major effect on lube oil flash point
- Flame screens on vents should be in good order
- Tank headspace ventilation by low pressure air purge will limit the build-up of explosive mixtures
- Metallic sounding tapes should be earthed to prevent static charges
Further information regarding SOLAS can be found at the UK Maritime and Coastguard website