Yes, your fuel can contain abrasive particles, even when the fuel comes directly from the refinery. Today, most modern refineries have “Fluidic Catalytic Cracking Units” that crack the fuel to produce more gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel. The Catalyst in these units is not fixed, but it is fluid; it resembles “beach sand” but it is much harder and more abrasive. During cracker upset operations, abrasive catalyst particles (cat fines) can leave the refinery and travel with the fuels.
Many equipment and engine operators rely on centrifugal separators, especially on larger ships. Centrifuges do not offer complete protection from cat fines, because they remove a percentage of various sized cat fines, but they also let a percentage of cat fines get past the centrifuges and into the fuel injection system and into the bore of the engine, rapidly damaging the piston rings, piston ring grooves, and the cylinder liners.
The correct solution is to install a Nelson / Winslow, 5 micron , depth filter to positively stop the damaging cat fines before they can get to the engine. These Nelson / Winslow filters will provide long life, in addition to positive cat fines protection.
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