Parker Kittiwake Launches New CAT Fines Test Kit

Test kit detects catalytic fines to prevent irreparable damage to fuel pumps, injectors, piston rings and liners

LONDON – 16 October 2015 – Parker Kittiwake, a leading global provider of asset control and protection technology, has today announced a breakthrough in the early detection of catalytic (cat) fines with the launch of its Cat Fines Test Kit. This simple,  wet chemistry, on-board test identifies the presence of abrasive silicon and aluminium fines in HFO.

The quality of fuel brought on board has always been difficult to determine at point of loading and as such Kittiwake has developed many fuel property test kits over the years to ensure the end user is getting what they pay for.  Up till now, the detection of cat fines in fuel oil was only possible using laboratory analysis techniques. The Parker Kittiwake Cat Fines Test Kit provides accurate results in a matter of minutes, potentially preventing critical damage before it occurs.

Earlier this year, leading fuel testing and inspection company Veritas Petroleum Services raised concerns that even when the ignition and combustion characteristics of a fuel have been tested and proven to meet specification, cat fines can still remain undetected in the fuel and consequently enter the system, potentially causing a total loss of propulsion. In parallel, underwriters are increasingly insistent on enforcing compliance with the guidance they issue on reducing the risk of cat fines, which means that owners who do not take sufficient steps to reduce their exposure to this hazard will find their claims much less likely to succeed.

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 fine particles of below 10 micron contribute to significant wear.  Incidences of excessive cylinder liner wear have been recorded even though the bunkered fuel oil was within the limits of the ISO 8217:2005 specification, which dictates a maximum of 60 ppm. This is why cat fines are causing such problems for ship-owners.”

The use of non-ISO compliant fuel, faulty fuel purifiers, and/or rough weather kicking up fines from the bottom of the settling tanks are all capable of introducing these suspended particles into the fuel system. The Parker Kittiwake Cat Fines Test Kit provides early forewarning of these destructive particles and give a vessel’s crew maximum opportunity to take corrective steps.”

For more than two decades, Parker Kittiwake has designed, developed and manufactured condition monitoring and test equipment for lube oil, hydraulic oil and fuels. Engineers the world over use Kittiwake equipment to gain vital insights into the health of their vessels’ engines or to measure fuel quality and compatibility. The Cat Fines Test Kit is an important addition to the company’s comprehensive suite of condition-based maintenance (CBM) products, underlining Parker Kittiwake’s commitment to developing tools and technology that addresses the challenges faced by today’s ship owners and marine engineers.