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U. S. Navy experience with turbine lubricating oil generally has been excellent. This experience is based on a turbine oil consumption rate of 9,000,000 gal per yr in machinery ranging from main propulsion turbines and gearing to hydraulic systems and various machinery auxiliaries. This equipment has transported and been transported by turbine oil to every sea in the world by mighty Polaris submarines and giant aircraft carriers as well as by the less glamorous but essential landing ships dock and others.
The Navy’s turbine oil is competitively procured under a specification composed of performance requirements defined by applicable test methods. The majority of these methods are ASTM procedures. The U. S. Navy’s turbine oil is a sophisticated product possessing a well-refined petroleum oil body containing a balanced additive formulation which makes it a responsible lubricant for key machinery and at the same time a protector of that machinery from attack by rust. It is intended to be noncorrosive, stable to oxidation, nonemulsifying, nonfoaming, and stable in storage.
The wide use of this oil in other than turbine machinery testifies to its generally satisfactory performance. Still, more than isolated instances of oil failure have occurred as in the rusting observed in the gear train of a docked submarine, fretting corrosion in couplings, and the increased maintenance required due to sludging in relatively inaccessible ships' auxiliary machinery. These failures lead to the recognition that improvements in the oil should be sought, and that present tests do not entirely define or predict the types of failure being encountered in service.
This paper recounts the types of failures being encountered, the inability of present tests to predict oil rust protection and oxidation stability, and suggests approaches to improve the situation.
King, H F
Bureau of Ships, Washington, D. C.
U. S. Naval Engineering Experiment Station, Annapolis, Md