Large Bore Engines

The structural design of the K98MC, K98MC-C, S90MC-C and S80MC-C engines is primarily based on that of the compact S-MC-C medium bore models. The main differences between the established K90MC/ MC-C engines and the new design are as follows:


All the new large bore engines are designed with thin-shell main bearings of whitemetal. The rigidity of the bearing housing was increased substantially to reduce stress levels and deformations. Furthermore, the change from the traditional stay bolts to the twin stay bolt design, with bolts screwed into the top of the cast bearing part, means that the geometry of the main bearing structure is simplified and an improved casting quality is achieved. Finally, to improve the fatigue strength, a material with upgraded mechanical properties was specified. The use of twin stay bolts, fitted in threads in the top of the bedplate, has almost eliminated deformation of the main bearing housing during bolt tightening. The match between main bearing cap and saddle, secured in the final machining, is thus maintained in the operational condition, yielding a highly beneficial effect on main bearing performance.

A triangular plate design engine frame box was adopted for later K98MC/MC-C engines when this was introduced on the S90MC-C and S80MC-C engines. The new design provides continuous support of the guide bar, thus ensuring uniform deformation of the bar and a more even contact pattern between guide shoe and guide bar that enhances guide shoe performance. In addition, the continuous support contributes to a significant reduction of the stress level in the areas in question. The holes in the supporting plate make it possible to inspect all longitudinal welding seams from the back, and thus ensure that the specified quality is secured.

Main bearing

Tin-aluminium (Sn40Al) has proved very reliable as the bearing material for the smaller engines, the alloy having a much higher fatigue strength at elevated temperatures. The material may be applied to large bore engines to maintain the reliability of the main bearings. Dry-barring on the testbed in some cases caused light seizure of Sn40Al main bearing shells on S-MC-C engines, but the problem was eliminated either by pre-lubrication with grease, high viscosity oil or by PTFE-coating the running surface of the shells.

Engine alignment

Traditionally, bedplate alignment, especially on large tankers, has been performed on the basis of a pre-calculated vertical position of the bearings, as well as of the engine as such, and possibly also involving an inclination of the entire main engine. On completing the pre-calculated alignment procedure, it has been normal practice to check the alignment by measuring the crankshaft deflections. Such checks are normally carried out either in drydock or with the ship afloat alongside at the yard in a very light ballast condition.

Owing to repeated cases of bearing damage, presumably caused by the lack of static loads in the normal operating conditions (ballast and design draught), MAN B&W introduced modified alignment procedures for bedplate and shafting (crankshaft and propulsion shafting) as well as modifying the vertical offset of the main bearing saddles. In the modified bedplate alignment procedure, the importance of the so-called sag of the bedplate is emphasised in order to counteract the hog caused by hull deflections as a result of the loading down of the ship, and partly by deformations due to the heating up of the engine and certain tanks.

Combustion chamber

A reconfigured combustion chamber (Figure 10.14) was developed for the new large bore engines (800 mm bore and above), the key features being:

Piston Topland
Figure 10.14 New and previous design of MC engine combustion chamber

• Piston crown with high topland. In order to protect the piston rings from the thermal load from combustion the height of the piston topland was increased (Figure 10.15). The resulting increased buffer volume between the piston crown and the cylinder wall improves conditions for the rings and allows longer times-between-overhauls. The high topland was first introduced in the mid-1990s, the positive service experience leading to its use for all new engine types.

• Piston crown with Oros shape. With increasing engine ratings, the major development challenge with respect to the combustion chamber components is to control the heat load on them. The short-stroke large bore engines have a rather flat combustion chamber because of the relatively smaller compression volume; this makes it more difficult to distribute the injected fuel oil without getting closer to the combustion chamber components. Furthermore, the higher rating means an increased amount of fuel injected per stroke. All this makes it more difficult to control the heat load on the components in short-stroke engines compared with long-stroke engines of the same bore size.

The heat load on the cylinder liner has been reduced by lowering the mating surface between cylinder liner and cylinder cover as much

Oros Piston
Figure 10.15 Piston with high topland and PC ring in cylinder liner

as possible (to just above the uppermost piston ring at top dead centre). This means that the greater part of the heat load is absorbed by the cylinder cover, which is made of steel and thus more resistant to high heat loads. In addition, the cylinder cover is water cooled, making it relatively easy to control the temperature level.

The piston is cooled by system oil, which means a lower cooling efficiency compared with the cooling of the cylinder cover. Oil cooling of the piston, however, offers a number of advantages. The optimum way of reducing the temperature level on the piston is to reduce the heat load on it, this being secured by redesigning the shape of the combustion chamber, including the piston, to provide more space around the fuel valve nozzles. The new piston shape was termed Oros (Greek for 'small mountain').

The result of the increased distance from the fuel valve nozzles to the piston surface was simulated by CFD analyses, and the optimum shapes of piston crown and cylinder cover determined from these simulations. Tests on several engine types verified the simulations. A significant reduction in temperature was obtained after development tests on K90MC engines with various layouts of fuel oil spray pattern.

Temperature measurements on the piston crown and exhaust valve are shown in Figure 10.16. The reduction in maximum piston temperature was approximately 90°C, this result being attained without impairing the temperature level on the oil side of the piston or the temperature on the exhaust valve.

• Piston ring pack. The Controlled Pressure Relief (CPR) top ring with relief grooves is now standard on all MC engines and has proved very effective in protecting the cylinder liner surface as well as the lower piston rings against excessive heat load. The CPR ring has a double lap joint, and an optimum pressure drop across the top piston ring is ensured by relief grooves (Figure 10.17). With increasing mean indicated pressures, the traditional angle-cut ring gap may result in higher thermal load on the cylinder liner; this load is significantly reduced by the CPR ring as no gas will pass through its double lap joint. The relief grooves ensure an almost even distribution of the thermal load from the combustion gases over the circumference of the liner, resulting in a reduced load on the liner as well as on the second piston ring.

Measurements confirmed that the peak temperature on No.2 piston ring was reduced from 300°C in association with an oblique cut top ring to 150°C with the CPR top ring. No.2 ring retains its spring force and times-between-overhauls are considerably extended. Furthermore, the pressure drop across the top piston ring has been optimized with respect to wear on the liner, piston rings and ring grooves. Thanks to the double lap joint, the pressure drop will be almost constant irrespective of the wear on the liner and rings. This contrasts with the traditional angle-cut ring, with which the cylinder condition slowly deteriorates as the liner wears. With the CPR rings, MAN B&W asserts, a continually good cylinder condition and low wear rate can be expected over the whole lifetime of the liner.

Alu-coating of the sliding surface of piston rings was introduced to ensure safe running-in. The aluminium-bronze alloy coating, a type of bearing material, has proved effective in protecting ring and liner

100% load

Conventional design

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  • amanuel
    What is CPR and OROS piston and ring?
    2 years ago
  • Katharina
    What is oros shaped piston?
    10 months ago

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