Coolant Analysis in Heavy Duty Applications


Douglas Rolls, Bureau Veritas Canada; Liam O'Leary, Bureau Veritas Canada (2019) Inc.

MEMO 2019 Bureau Veritas Canada (2019) Ltd. Abstract  Coolant Analysis in Heavy Duty Applications Almost everyone understands how important a properly maintained lubrication system is to optimum engine health, but what most people do not understand is that engine coolant and the cooling system are just as critical to engine design, maintenance and optimum performance. The demands of today’s Tier-4 engines have dramatically changed cooling system design and coolant formulation. These heavy-duty diesel engines produce a tremendous amount of power from a relatively small package, placing greater demands on the cooling system to absorb heat transferred from the engine, transmission and hydraulic fluids. At the same time, cooling systems have become smaller and operate at higher temperatures. Higher pressures and flow rates, make efficient heat removal and adequate metal protection even more challenging. We are all aware that oil analysis is an invaluable condition monitoring tool, but coolant analysis provides the rest of the story by pinpointing coolant and cooling system issues that can lead to premature engine failure. An estimated 50% of all engine failures are associated with cooling system problems. Once initiated, these problems can spread through the systems, damaging components causing scale, clogging passages and forming corrosive acids. Yet the cooling system is the least understood and most neglected of these systems. Coolant analysis takes the guesswork out of maintaining these systems. Implementing a predictive maintenance program that includes analyzing the in-service coolant has proven to optimize reliability, decrease unscheduled downtime, reduce in-service failures and field repairs and establish proper coolant drain intervals, increase component lifespans and control equipment costs. Coolant analysis can dramatically improve machine performance, reduce unnecessary repair and replacement costs and extend the life of equipment by optimizing the condition of the mechanical systems involved and the fluids that keep them running.