Art Tilley MT2
Reply with quote #1
Hello All Snipes and Would-be Engineers !!
Need some input from you guys.
Please let us know what BUNKER OIL is. Where does it come from? What does it look and smell like? How is it burned?
Am I correct in my understanding that the Little Rock burned BUNKER OIL for its propulsion fuel?
Also, I found the following poem that supposedly helps the boiler tenders remember what needs to be done at the boilers (?) to make the stuff burn correctly. Does the poem make sense, and is it accurate?
Regards to All,
"How to burn bunker oil"
Set the burners open wide
do not touch the valves at side,
keep the pressure on the pump
and up the bally steam will jump.
If the smoke is black and thick
open up the fans a bit,
if the smoke is thick and white
to slow the fans will be quite right.
For when sufficient air is given,
no smoke ascendeth up to heaven
and if the jets refuse to squirt
assume the cause is due to dirt.
Should the flame be short and white
you have combustion clear and bright,
but should the flame be yellow and long
combustion is entirely wrong.
A wise man to his heater sees
and keeps it at the right degrees,
to have it more is not quit wise,
because the oil may carbonize.
If you keep the filters clean
no drop in pressure will be seen,
and should the pump kick up a ruction
there’s likely air within the suction.
There's more to this than what's shown here
if to the rules you do adhere
junior engineers should know them,
or their boilers may explode them!
- Author Unknown
Reply with quote #2
Originally Posted by
I think the Rock was propelled by Steam from Boilers???? Two Babcock and Wicox Boilers Not only supplied steam to the main propulsion turbines. they also supply steam for the electric turbo generators, the galley, laundry, and many other services.
Reply with quote #3
11/17/04 INLET NY
GENTS: Larry Wallace is correct that steam generated the energy to propel the ship. However, the propellers were connected to the shafts, which were connected to the reduction gear. which was connected to the power generator. That having been said, something had to create the steam in the boilers, and that was fuel oil. I seem to recall that it was referred to as #6 fuel oil. This oil was quite thick (low viscosity), which is why it took so long to re-fuel at sea. My knowledge of all this is somewhat suspect. While I had to stand watches in Main Engine Control to qualify as OOD, engineering is not my thing. In OCS, I needed extra help to connect all the dots to pass my exams. While tactics may have been my strength, all I really knew is that "we took on fuel, the fuel was burned to produce steam which propelled the shaft and propellers". After that, I watched for a man overboard!!!! At last, the truth is known about who the officers were. Most of us on the Bridge had no idea what the Engineers were doing. So long as they responded to Engine Order Telegraph orders of "All Ahead Full", we were fine. Scary, isn't it? Please don't hold this against me now that I am much older and wiser. Regards. J.D.
Art Tilley MT2
Reply with quote #4
Jerry et al,
Hey I'm just a Missileman, so what do I know....? However, I think that "technically" the Bunker Oil supplied the energy, which was released by combustion and then converted into steam (energy) in the boilers. The energy contained in the steam was then converted into rotational (mechanical) energy by the turbines, which turned the little propeller things at the stern.
The following is some info I found on "#6 Bunker Oil at:
Characteristics of No.6 (Residual) Fuel Oil
Number 6 fuel oil is a thick, syrupy, black, tar-like liquid. It smells like tar, and may even become semi-solid in cooler temperatures. No. 6 fuel oil, also known as bunk oil, bunker oil, or black liquor, is a petroleum product consisting of a complicated mix of hydrocarbons with high boiling points. It is a "leftover", or residual product of crude oil after the more valuable hydrocarbons have been removed.
Manufacturing companies use it as fuel for steam boilers and power generators. It is generally bought in large quantities and stored in large tanks, either above or below the ground. Since No. 6 fuel oil is so thick and viscous, users heat the oil up before they burn it. Heating makes the oil flow more easily, reducing pump demands and allows spray nozzles in the burner to turn the oil into a mist for maximum burning efficiency. The oil is typically heated to anywhere from 150 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is some info on Babcock and Wilcox from:
Babcock and Wilcox - History
In 1856, 26-year old Stephen Wilcox of Rhode Island, USA, patented a water tube boiler that increased heating surfaces, allowed better water circulation, and, most noteworthy, was inherently safe. Eleven years later, he and friend George Babcock established a partnership -- Babcock, Wilcox and Company -- to manufacture and market these water tube steam boilers. Their ingenuity cleared the way for the modern era of large high-pressure and high-temperature steam power plants and established a precedent for their colleagues and successors to be inventive and customer-oriented.
So why is this important ? We just MIGHT want to fire up the boilers someday and take a trip back to the Med, that's why! (Or is that just wishful thinking?)
Art Tilley MT-2
Reply with quote #5
11/19/04 INLET NY
GENTS: Ok, there is more to this puzzle than meets the eye. Art correctly identifies the #6 bunker that Little Rock used. However, it was not the fuel that was converted into anything other than heat. It was the water in the boilers that was converted into steam by the bunker oil, and the steam flowed into the generators which turned the shaft, etc., etc.. Actually, the initial steam coming out of the boilers then went through a "superheater" as well. OK smart guys, how about this question, which the OOD was always on the lookout for: if the stacks gave out black smoke, what was wrong?? If the stacks gave out white smoke, what was wrong? If the stacks produced a light smoke, what was right? Free drink in Buffalo for three right answers.J.D
Reply with quote #6
Black smoke the pump needs more air, White smoke the pumps need less air, when very little smoke the pumps are just right?
Reply with quote #7
11/19/04 INLET NY
OK, Larry W. got all three answers correct. He is therefore entitled to one cheap beer in Buffalo next July!! I do thank him for not repeating the scurrilous remarks/attacks on me in his private e-mail to me, where he referred to me as a KLUTZ OOD. Can you imagine one having been declared a "Gentleman" by Act of Congress, a KLUTZ? For what it's worth, I protest.
Reply with quote #8
You PROTEST being a GENTLEMEN, or a KLUTZ? Not completely sure on this end? I Will enjoy the cold one one hot day in July. Maybe even sooner? Like in May for the Working party? Larry
Reply with quote #9
I do remember how the deck division guys hated it when they got a spill from the refueling lines. It reminded me of crankcase drain oil after a very long time between changes.
Dick Fowler FTM2 61-63
Art Tilley MT2
Reply with quote #10
Hold on...... a little more info.
The following was received several days ago from an EMCM/LDO who will remain un-named for the time being:
"Bunker oil or bunker C as it was known in Naval circles, (was) the fuel for all marine boilers up until the seventies. It was a thick black oil which usually had to be preheated prior to entering the burners. It was black and thick and made a mess with even a little spill. The air was extremely critical for proper combustion. Too little air there was incomplete combustion and a lot of black smoke came out of the stacks, and the displeasure of the Cap't fell on the engineering watch officer. In cold waters the fuel tanks were heated with steam heaters in order to pump the oil. A lot of soot built up on the boiler tubes resulting in more maintenance.
Bunker C in the Gulf could be loaded directly into the fuel tanks, but the heaters had to be started even in warm waters."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
It's interesting how much the guys in the engine room spaces needed to know in order that the Little Rock might move about the seas easily.
Also, note how many "hits" this topic has had. Apparently there are more folks interested in the work of the snipes than one might imagine.
I'll start a new posting for another question that has bothered me for a while. Let's see how much input we can get on it.
Best Regards to All. See you in Buffalo.
Art Tilley MT2
Reply with quote #11
The following is part of a posting that was sent in by Jim Sklarz, a BTSN crew-member. It looks as if it needed to be added to the "Bunker Oil" posting.....
After having the evening to reflect.... (on a previous) post and thinking back over my illustrious yet brief naval career, I realize that I have posted some erroneous information about the Rock's propulsion system. My error was in naming the kind of fuel oil we converted our burner systems to during the Boston Naval Shipyard/Charlestown dry dock period of about 72/73, just prior to the Rock returning to Gaeta for her final tour as 6th Fleet Flag ship.
Sent in by Jim Sklarz on Aug 17, 2005
Re-posted Aug 18, 2005
The correct information is as follows: The Rock was burning NSFO (Navy Special Fuel Oil) prior to the conversion. This was the heavy black "bunker" oil that was commonly in use throughout the navies of the world after coal had its heyday. After the conversion, the Rock was burning ND, or Navy Distillate, a fuel oil very similar in characteristics to common household heating oil. Using ND, the Rock could be gotten underway more quickly because it didn't require the same degree of preheating as NSFO and its viscosity allowed it to be pumped at a quicker rate, like pumping vegetable oil versus molasses. Additionally, furnace tube cleaning-related maintenance times were reduced. Also, we discharged far less pollutants thereby avoiding the announcing of our presence with the tell-tale clouds of thick oil smoke that trailed behind and above us as we steamed along. Because this fuel didn't have the high degree of impurities in it that NSFO had, there were certain catastrophic failures, such as water related burner flame-outs and back wall explosions that were dramatically reduced.
There were other benefits to going to ND that escape me now but I think the savvy reader gets the difference at this point. I apologize for any confusion caused by my first (August 16, 2005) post.
Reply with quote #12
Hi Art. Did you ever get an answer to your question, "What is bunker oil.?" Ron
Reply with quote #13
I'm continually amazed at how many people from around the world look at our web site. Below are two e-mails I recently received pertaining to bunker oil (!) from "Nathalie" who lives near Villefranche.... Hope you enjoy the input as much as I did.
Received Friday 17 March 2006.....
HELLO GUYS !
BUNKER OIL IS SIMPLY THE COMMON WORD USED IN MARINE INDUSTRY TO NAME THE FUEL OR DIESEL OR GASOIL BURNT INTO SHIPS TANKS. THERE ARE MANY TYPES (DIFFERENT SPECIFICATIONS : 30, 40, 80,..., 380 CST, DMA, RMG35, RMG380, RMF25, DMB TO NAME A FEW ..... AND DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS). AN ENGINE BURNING GASOIL WILL NOT BURN 380 CST !!!!! THE HEAVIEST THE CHEAPEST. I HOPE THIS WAS CLEAR ENOUGH. ALL THE BEST FROM THE BUNKER DEPT !!!!!
Received Monday 20 March 2006
(after my inquiry regarding the author's connection to the Little Rock).....
TKS YOUR BELOW. CONTENTS NOTED HOWEVER I WAS NOT A CREW
MEMBER OF YOUR SHIP !
I WAS NOT EVEN BORN WHEN YOU WERE ON THIS VSL !
I'M JUST WORKING IN BUNKER FIELD AND FOUND FUNNY YOUR
REQUEST. SO AS I SAW NOBODY REPLIED TO IT I THOUGH COULD
BE NICE TO GIVE YOU THE ANSWER !
I HOPE MY REPLY HELPED YOU. DID YOU MANAGE TO COME TO
VILLEFRANCHE AS I SAW YOU WERE TRYING TO ORGANIZE A TRIP
TO VILLEFRANCHE AND GAETA ???
I LEAVE NEXT TO VILLEFRANCHE (SOUTH OF FRANCE)
ALL THE BEST
Registered: 1173047231 Posts: 1
Reply with quote #14
In the Northeast "Bunker" are a form of baitfish. Scientific name is Menhaden. Basically our number one baitfish for huge Striped Bass. Lighthouse keepers were know to burn them for heating oil. Very smelly, oily fish. They feed on moss, hence the name Moss Bunker. I hope this helps. Mark F. (Iplayfair)
Registered: 1170298737 Posts: 10
Reply with quote #15
8/18/05 at 07:14 AM
The following is part of a posting that was sent in by Jim Sklarz, a BTSN crew-member. It looks as if it needed to be added to the "Bunker Oil" posting..... Dear Readers: After having the evening to reflect.... (on a previous) post and thinking back over my illustrious yet brief naval career, I realize that I have posted some erroneous information about the Rock's propulsion system. My error was in naming the kind of fuel oil we converted our burner systems to during the Boston Naval Shipyard/Charlestown dry dock period of about 72/73, just prior to the Rock returning to Gaeta for her final tour as 6th Fleet Flag ship. Sent in by Jim Sklarz on Aug 17, 2005 Re-posted Aug 18, 2005 The correct information is as follows: The Rock was burning NSFO (Navy Special Fuel Oil) prior to the conversion. This was the heavy black "bunker" oil that was commonly in use throughout the navies of the world after coal had its heyday. After the conversion, the Rock was burning ND, or Navy Distillate, a fuel oil very similar in characteristics to common household heating oil. Using ND, the Rock could be gotten underway more quickly because it didn't require the same degree of preheating as NSFO and its viscosity allowed it to be pumped at a quicker rate, like pumping vegetable oil versus molasses. Additionally, furnace tube cleaning-related maintenance times were reduced. Also, we discharged far less pollutants thereby avoiding the announcing of our presence with the tell-tale clouds of thick oil smoke that trailed behind and above us as we steamed along. Because this fuel didn't have the high degree of impurities in it that NSFO had, there were certain catastrophic failures, such as water related burner flame-outs and back wall explosions that were dramatically reduced. There were other benefits to going to ND that escape me now but I think the savvy reader gets the difference at this point. I apologize for any confusion caused by my first (August 16, 2005) post. And here are my final words on the originally posted question, "What is bunker oil?" In my words quoted by Art T above, I guess I may have come close to directly answering the question in this thread! Really I was sort of dancing around it and making a comparison to ND and explaining the differences between the two! However, those words were in response to another thread. Apparently Art has posted them here feeling that they are related and therefore appropriate to the thread. But reading them here they seem somehow contradictory to all of the very accurate and truthful statements written before them. They are not. I still stand by my use of the abbreviations NSFO and ND as the commonly used and accepted OFFICIAL USN terms as taught by the instructors at Boiler Technician "A" School, Service School Command, Great Lakes, IL, and in the fleet aboard the Rock by the officers and crew members of "B" Division and the Chief Engineering Officer. Of course, when and if our supply people negotiated with the locals to purchase fuel oil while in a foreign port, I'm quite sure the common language would have included the word "bunker!" All of the descriptions of NSFO/bunker oil as being "black and nasty" and like molasses are as accurate as can be. One of the key action items we had to contend with during the yard ND conversion period was to wrap every fuel oil pipe flange (the joint where lengths of pipe are joined) with a spray arrestor. With all those yards and yards of fuel oil pipes and literally hundreds of flanges that weren't replaced and even the ones that were, the concern was that under pressure the new watery thin ND fuel would spray out of any leaks that may take place, creating just the kind of condition where all that's needed is a source of combustion and the next thing you know, we'd all be in a world of hurt! By the way, Art, that would have been, BTFN, not BTSN, the difference being having attended "A" school, I was a designated striker at the time. Jim Sklarz Former Oil King/ B Division