Catastrophic engine failures

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Chief1

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Chief1 »

On the EMD's, the oil separator on the left side of the turbocharger is mounted to the gear train housing, which is internally connected to the crankcase. The top of the oil separator has a flexible steel hose which connects to the turbocharger exhaust stack. Extending into the stack at this connection is the eductor tube and, as engine exhaust passes the tube, it creates a vacuum in the oil separator housing, the gear train housing and, ultimately, the crankcase. As atomized lubricating oil is flung about in the crankcase at high engine speeds, it is an easily volatile mixture, so the vacuum is necessary to reduce the oxygen level in the crankcase. If the oil separator filter is plugged, or the eductor tube is plugged, a crankcase explosion can occur. An adjacent mechanic is in danger of flying debris and or being coated with high temperature engine oil. Either situation can be fatal. On other Engines a mechanical blower exhausts the crankcase through a scrub filter to the atmosphere.
Custom500

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Custom500 »

Because the diesel isn't throttled it gulps a full measure of air with every intake stroke. The fuel is injected into the combustion chamber in a precisely controlled amount. Any additional fuel coming into the cylinder via the intake air is extra and not able to be controlled.
In the case of turbo seals failing and allowing a lot of lube oil past and into the intake air, these engines will often run away uncontrollably, burning their lube oil as fuel.
Hobieone

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Hobieone »

If crankcase fumes are a problem, why can't they be vented to the intake vacuum like a gasoline engine?
Paul_b

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Paul_b »

Yep.. I stand corrected…was an engine “room” explosion… from a torch and paint fumes… regardless I learned more about the event
William Lafferty
Posts: 1492
Joined: March 13, 2010, 10:51 am

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by William Lafferty »

Didn't see Agawa Canyon mentioned yet. September 1, 1970, four days after launching. The explosion killed one and injured seven others.

Wasn't that due to paint fumes during construction?
Yes. It occurred 1 September 1970. The vessel was launched 27 August 1970 so I doubt the crankcase would have been in operation. A coroner's jury at Collingwood on 17 December 1970 definitively cited paint fumes accumulating in a remote after portion of the hull ignited when a metal cutting torch was lit, killing one and injuring another.
Guest

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Guest »

Paul_b wrote: February 29, 2024, 5:43 pm Didn't see Agawa Canyon mentioned yet. September 1, 1970, four days after launching. The explosion killed one and injured seven others.
Wasn't that due to paint fumes during construction?
Paul_b

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Paul_b »

Didn't see Agawa Canyon mentioned yet. September 1, 1970, four days after launching. The explosion killed one and injured seven others.
Chief1

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Chief1 »

Marine Diesels are subject to crankcase explosion due to the misty explosive atmosphere within the crankcase. I believe 50% of the crankcase inspection covers must be fitted with relief valves. As long as nothing mechanical becomes hot enough to spark that atmosphere, ( crank bearing, con-rod or piston etc) then it’s usually not “if” but “when this event happens. Then the task of clean up begins and through sheer good luck no personnel were not close to that engine .
Mr Link
Posts: 1204
Joined: December 6, 2014, 3:43 pm

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Mr Link »

The Bowling Green Historical Collections of the Great Lakes website mentions that the MV Arctic suffered a crankcase explosion at some point in its career. It was in the eastern Atlantic when it happened.
Mn bob

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Mn bob »

I see the joe block on the list for crankcase explosion, what happened and when did it happen? Any known cause for the failure?
Guest

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Guest »

Thanks, I have definitely read about crankcase explosions, but sounds like a few more than I thought.

Have seen a small Cummins run away, was turning some serious rpm for a diesel, ran till the oil was gone, then parts came out the bottom, can or has this happened on a laker? Fire extinguishers didn't stop it.

Have also seen videos on utube of a locomotive have a runaway, so just wondered.
Pete in Hesperia

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Pete in Hesperia »

We had one on the tug John Kendall in the early 80's. GM 12-567. Cooling oil to the underside of one of the pistons failed. Caused the piston to burn a hole due to temperature of combustion. Caused a crankcase explosion and blew all the valve covers off. The valve covers were about 18" wide x 3 feet long and just rested in position. Nobody was down there at the time. Turned the fuel off to that cylinder and continued to home. Replaced the piston, individual head, cleaned the oil lines......back to work.
William Lafferty
Posts: 1492
Joined: March 13, 2010, 10:51 am

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by William Lafferty »

There have been some, although it depends on how one defines "catastrophic," I guess: Paterson, 17 September 1985; Joseph L. Block, 18 December 1997; Ralph Misener, 12 August 1980; Irving Nordic, 11 March 1993.

The most notorious incident may not have been: The owners of the Vainqueur, built 1958 as the Alexander T. Wood by Canadian Vickers for the post-seaway ore trade, suffered what its owners claimed to be either a starboard generator or main engine crankcase explosion on the Gulf of Mexico, 15 March 1969, one life and the vessel lost. The vessel's underwriters, Northwestern Mutual, claimed it was deliberate sabotage to scuttle the apparently overly-insured vessel. See Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Linard, 359 F. Supp. 1012 (S.D.N.Y. 1973).
Guest

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Guest »

The worst peacetime disaster in Canadian naval history occurred on Oct. 23, 1969, when nine crew were killed and another 53 injured in an explosion and fire aboard HMCS Kootenay.

The incident marked the last time Canadian service personnel were required to be buried overseas and it helped bring about sweeping changes to shipboard fire-prevention and firefighting systems.

The Restigouche-class destroyer was part of a task group that included the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure and eight destroyer escorts sailing in European waters. The group was homeward bound, crossing the English Channel, when Kootenay and HMCS Saguenay broke off to conduct sea trials 320 kilometres off Plymouth, England.

Kootenay was running at maximum speed shortly after 8:10 a.m. when crew reported hearing a sound like “a rising organ note” as the ship’s starboard gearbox overheated, hitting an estimated 650°C before it exploded seconds later, at 8:21.

“We heard a whoosh and then there was a wall of flame coming from the starboard gearbox,” recalled Able Seaman Allan (Dinger) Bell, one of only three below to survive the explosion. “It was immediately followed by a blast of fire that whooshed all through the engine room.”

Complete story at this link: https://legionmagazine.com/the-explosio ... -the-navy/
Guest

Re: Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Guest »

I believe the Ralph Misener had a crankcase explosion back in the 1980s. I also seem to recall reading about the Samuel Mather having a major engine failure just before its retirement as well.
Guest

Catastrophic engine failures

Unread post by Guest »

Have there been many catastrophic diesel engine failures on the lakes like crankcase explosions, or a runaway? Years back I thought a Miesner boat had a crankcase explosion, possibly 80's or 90's.

Or what do they do to prevent such an event

Thanks
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