Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Tribology

pp 2164-2172

Marine Engine Oils

  • Tze-Chi JaoAffiliated withDepartment of R & D, Afton Chemical Corporation Email author 
  • , Andre VerhelstAffiliated withFomer Member of CIMAC, Texaco R&D


Low-speed two-stroke diesel cylinder oils; Marine lubricants; Medium-speed four-cycle trunk piston engine oils; System oils for large marine diesel engines


Marine engine oils comprise a series of lubricants used to maintain the proper function of low-speed and medium-speed marine engines, which are mainly employed in larger ships.

Scientific Fundamentals


In 2009 more than 35,000 larger vessels ranging from 1000 dwt feeders to more than 500,000 dwt super oil tankers sailed across the oceans, transporting a wide variety of cargoes such as grains, coal, iron ore, cars, forest products, manufactured goods, and crude oil. These ocean-going ships are generally powered by two types of diesel engines: low-speed two-stroke crosshead diesel engines and medium-speed four-stroke diesel engines.

It is noteworthy that, due to the vast advantage in economics of diesel engines over steam turbine engines, since the 1970s the latter have v ...

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