Shell Marine has unveiled the next generation Shell Argina and Shell Gadinia trunk piston oils for the medium-speed engine market, confirming the success of a two-year quest to meet simultaneous market challenges posed to ship owners by technology advances and squeezed costs.
With shipping investment opportunities scarce and competition intense, owners face pressures to shift towards cleaner fuels that address emissions regulations. Shell thinks that demand for distillates and low-sulphur heavy fuel oil will only increase as shipping approaches a global fuel sulphur content cap of 0.5%, imposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) from 2020. Already, dual-fuel engines are taking an increasing share of the medium speed market.
Newer generation engines are designed for better fuel economy and lower operating costs, achieved by higher brake mean effective pressure and higher operating temperatures.
“These characteristics pose a challenge for trunk piston engine oils, increasing the risk of rapid BN depletion and increased viscosity,” says Marcus Schaerer, Shell Marine global marketing manager. “The new Shell Argina and Shell Gadinia oils feature excellent BN retention and viscosity control to address the faster oxidation that leads to deposit formation or lubricant contamination, without resorting to unnecessary oil sweetening.”
The Shell Argina range includes four grades: the BN20 Shell Argina S2 for residual, blended and distillate fuels; the ‘mainstream’ Shell Argina S3 (BN30) and Shell Argina S4 (BN40); and Shell Argina S5 (BN55) – offering extra protection from deposits and extended oil life.
Meanwhile, Shell Gadinia S3 is a new addition to the existing standard and anti-lacquer Gadinia variants, and has been developed to control oil consumption in modern engines burning distillate fuels. “New and modern engines are designed to achieve higher efficiencies, lower emissions and lower operating costs,” says Schaerer. Shell Gadinia S3 has a comprehensive set of non-engine approvals for a wide range of non-engine shipboard applications, to provide a single long-term lubricant solution for smaller vessels working in the most severe operating conditions.
Exhaustive in-engine trials at Shell’s Marine and Power Innovation Centre in Hamburg confirm Shell Argina and Shell Gadinia as oils that avoid sludge formation, improve piston and crankcase cleanliness, and thus block deposit formation. Both oil types offer improved detergency over previous Shell Marine products and those from competitors.
“Compared with a high-performing industry reference oil, the new Shell Argina S5 shows a 12.6% improvement in BN retention and a 15-20% improvement in piston undercrown deposit thickness, for example,” says Schaerer. “For operators, this can translate into lower operating costs via longer oil life, less sweetening and reduced maintenance.”