Cylinder Liners of Marine Diesel Engines | 22-23 The Best Tutorial

Cylinder liners are critical components of marine diesel engines, playing a crucial role in the engine’s performance and longevity. These liners are designed to provide a durable and reliable surface for the engine’s pistons to move against, withstand high temperatures and pressures, and resist corrosion and wear.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of cylinder liners in marine diesel engines and how they work. We’ll discuss different types of cylinder liners, such as wet and dry liners, and their advantages and disadvantages.

We’ll also cover common issues that can arise with cylinder liners, such as scuffing, wear, and cracking, and how to diagnose and address these issues. We’ll provide tips on how to maintain cylinder liners, such as proper lubrication, coolant, and cleanliness, to extend their lifespan and ensure optimal engine performance.

Whether you’re a marine diesel engine mechanic or a vessel owner, this post will provide you with valuable insights into cylinder liners, their function, and how to maintain them for optimal engine performance and longevity.

Cylinder Liners of Diesel Engines

In this Post we will discuss the following on Cylinder Liners of Diesel Engines.

  1. Cylinder liner function,
  2. Properties of Cylinder liner material,
  3.  Types of cylinder liners,
  4. Cylinder liner manufacturing process,
  5. Difference between cylinder liner and sleeve.

The post will be useful for the readers to understand the basics of Cylinder liner.

Functions of Cylinder Liner

A Liner is cylindrical part located in cylinder block of an engine. Cylinder liner forms the part of combustion chamber in which combustion of fuel occurs. The piston in cylindrical shape reciprocates in the space created by cylinder liner.

The cylinder liner is manufactured separately from the cylinder block for the following reasons.

  1. Separately manufacturing process of cylinder liner will allow the use of superior material to the cylinder block. The liner is manufactured from a cast iron alloyed with chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum. The alloying elements help resist corrosion and improve the wear resistance of the liner at high temperatures.
  2. The cylinder liner will wear out at certain operating hours of use and, therefore, need to be replaced. The cylinder block will run up to the engine life unless there is some accident in the engine.
  3. The cylinder liner will expand more and is free to expand diametrically and lengthwise. If the Cylinder Block and Cylinder liner were cast as one piece, unacceptable thermal stresses would cause a fracture. 

Functions of Anti polishing/ Flame Ring

Flame ring installed in the cylinder liner top part performs the following functions.

  1. Scrapes carbon deposits
  2.  Removes the  excessive lubricating oil on piston crown
  3. Reduces the lubricating oil consumption.

For the following listed reasons, cylinder liners are manufactured separately.

  • Due to the reciprocating movement of the piston, the cylinder liner will wear and will need replacement.
  • At the operating temperature, the cylinder liner is hotter than the jacket/cylinder blocks. Hence the expansion of the liner will be more than the expansion of the jacket. If the cylinder liner were not made separately, then undesirable thermal stresses would occur, causing fracture of the material?

Difference between Cylinder Liner and Sleeve

Sleeves are mainly used for the repairs of the damaged block. Cylinder Liners are used in an engine that is fitted in the cylinder block.

Types of Cylinder Liners

  • Dry Type Cylinder liner
  • Wet Type of Cylinder Liner

Dry Type Cylinder liner 

Dry type cylinder liner

The walls of the dry type liner are thin. As a result, the liner is shrunk in the cylinder block, built with fins and cooled by air, usually used small engines. In a Dry-type liner, Water doesn’t circulate around the liner, for cooling. Instead, the liner is tightly fitted in the cylinder block.

Wet Type cylinder line

Cylinder Liner with jacket min

A wet-type cylinder liner directly contacts the cooling Water, which circulates around the liner for cooling purposes. The circulating Water controls the piston rings and liner temperature. Wet liners will have the cooling surface between the engine cylinder block and the liner. In some cases, there are integral cooling spaces.

In wet-type cylinder liners not provided with the integral cooling passages, the water jacket is built by the liner and separate jacket. A stationary seal is provided at both the combustion and crankshaft end of cylinders to arrest the coolant leakage into the oil sump or combustion chamber

Typically the seal towards the combustion chamber end is either a metallic tom back gasket or finely machined surface. On the sump side, neoprene rubber rings are provided for sealing purposes. linear expansion of the cylinder liner  will be provided by this arrangements. The walls of the cylinder liners of the wet type are strongly built to withstand the working pressure of the combustion process.

Material of Construction

Cylinder liner is manufactured with better material than that of the cylinder block. The cylinder block is manufactured with grey cast iron, and the Cylinder liner is made of centrifugally cast iron copper vanadium alloyed for better lubrication properties due to graphite, corrosion resistance, and wears resistance at high temperatures.

Material Composition for large bore Cylinder liners

Cast iron with , Carbon-3.00%, Magnese-1.00%, Silcon-0.70%, Sulphur-0.10%, Phosphorus- 0.25%, Vanadium- 0.15%, 

Manufacturing Methods

  1. Sand Casting
  2. Centrifugal Casting.

Sand Casting; – This process is adopted for the manufacture of large slow-speed Engines. This process enhanced wearing properties due to the best grain flow formed in casted material—better graphitization enhancing lubricating properties due to steady cooling rate.

Centrifugal Casting- This process is adopted for Medium and high-speed engines. Robust liner, consistent structure, low wearing quality (due to fast cooling rate) is achieved with this process.

Manufacturing process

Following activities are undertaken during the liner manufacturing process.

  1. Rough Machining
  2. Hydro Test ( 7 bars)
  3. Ports forming
  4. Final machining of the internal and external surface
  5. Honing the internal surface- (surface finish approximately  to 3.5lm)
  6. Surface treatment

Surface Finish Treatment

Surface finish treatment is given to the inner surface of the liner for the piston rings to seat wholly and quickly so that the engine doesn’t use oil. The surface finish should fulfill the Piston ring manufacturer’s standards and maintain the excellent cross-hatch marks on the working surface to retain the lubricating oil and make the lubricating oil available to piston rings.

Types of Stress in Liners

Liners are subjected to following stresses.

  1. Mechanical stress – pressure:- In Supercharges engines firing pressure is about 90 to 100 bar and with the latest design this pressure is about 130 bars. The firing pressure in natural aspirated engines is 75 to 80 Bars. Firing pressure produces longitudinal and circumferential stress. Longitudinal stress is hoop stress and is twice of circumferential stress and hence is taken in to consideration.
  2. Thermal stress – temperature: – Temperature ingredient across the liner is produced due to the resistance to heat flow through liner wall metal. The inner wall of liner expands more than the outer wall. The thermal stress will increase in proportion to the liner wall thickness.

Cylinder Liner Failures

1. Crack through the Liner flange due to unequal or extra tightening of cylinder heads

2. Inadequate support causing hoop stress crack

3. New piston ring hitting the wear ridge causing circumferential Crack.

4. Flame intrusion causing a crazy crack

5. Cracks across the port bar due to overloading, unsatisfactory cooling, scavenge fire, poor installation of rubbing sealing ring.  

Cylinder Liner Repair Chart

Liner repair chart

Cylinder Liner Wear

  1. Abrasion is caused by hard particles produced due to lubricating oil film breakage.
  2. Acidic combustion products causing corrosion
  3. Metal to metal contact due to boundary lubrication causing scuffing break down.
  4. Hard particles derived from airborne dirt, ash contents carbon from combustion due to worn piston rings.
  5. Cold corrosion due to the sulfur turning into Acid at dew point.

The procedure of Cylinder Liner Removal

Follow the proper method for the removal of the liner. Cylinder liner will be damaged for not adopting the prescribed procedure and recommended tools by the engine manufacturer.

  1. Remove the piston and connecting rod 
  2. Mark identification mark concerning cylinder block.
  3. Loosen the cylinder shoes of the cylinder liner lifting tool
  4. Put the shoes of the device at the bottom edge of liner
  5. Jack up the cylinder liner by turning the nut clockwise.
  6. Remove and discard the sealing ring (Tom’s back ring).
  7. Remove the cylinder liner lifting tool
  8. Remove and dump the cylinder sealing rings.

Important Note;- Always store or place the cylinder in a vertical direction. Else there may be a distortion of the liner. Also, note that the liner marking for the refitting in the unit’s exact location has been removed.

Cylinder liner cleaning procedure

Clean the liner with the following procedure.

  1. Clean the liner properly by using the recommended detergents ,hot water and cleaning brush.
  2. Rinse the cleaned liner with steam or hot water
  3. Dry the liner with dry compressed air.
  4. Smear the bore of the liner with fresh engine oil.
  5. Wait for 10 minutes for oil work into the working surface.
  6. Wipe the cylinder bore with the clean paper towel
  7. Repeat the step 4 through 6 in case the black residue is observed on the towel

Inspection of Liner

Points to be observed while inspecting the cylinder liner

Liner Abnormalities
  • Check the cylinder liner for cracks, fretting, and scoring.
  • Scavenge ports opening with sharp edges,
  • Formation of the edge at the top dead center position
  • Liner surface with mechanical friction wear impressions and abrasive wear.
  • Blow-by dark areas.
  • Acidic and cold corrosion marks on the surface
  • Lubrication opening with cracks and damages. 
  • Glazing of liner surface with a diminished indication of honing marks.
  • Lube oil flow from lubrication ports
  • Gauging of Liner bore for ovality and wear.
  • Replace the Liner in case of any cracks, fretting, and scoring is detected.
  • Inspect the cylinder liner for any cavitations erosion as per the below figure.

Gauging of the Cylinder liner

 Cylinder Liners of  Diesel Engines-Gauging of liner

Gauging of the cylinder liner is to be carried out at regular
intervals mentioned in the OEM manual. Maintain the Record of measurement in
the format shown below for future reference and wear rate calculation.

Inspect the liner thoroughly after proper cleaning. The temperature of the Liner bore measuring gauge and Liner should be identical.

In case of temperature difference exceeds or vice versa, then the following multiplying factor will be used. 

MF factor
Cylinder Liners of Marine Diesel Engines | 22-23 The Best Tutorial 56

Liner gauging report format

 Cylinder Liners of  Diesel Engines-Gauging format
Cylinder Liners of Marine Diesel Engines | 22-23 The Best Tutorial 57


Cylinder liner honing machine
Cylinder Liners of Marine Diesel Engines | 22-23 The Best Tutorial 58

In the course of continuous operation, Cylinder liners will be subjected to wear and tear. This wear is uniformly scattered. The highest wear develops between the turnaround points of the top and bottom piston rings. Generally, scuffing marks are observed at the area of the top piston reversal point. Most of the cylinder liners will be oval over long engine running hours.

Lubricating oil consumption will increase with the the additional effect of wear

A new cylinder liner received from the factory will have cross-hatch markings honed on the working surface. This roughness retains the lubricating oil required to maintain a uniformly distributed oil film between the piston rings’ turnaround points.

If the surface of the liner becomes glazed over a period of operation, the piston ring will easily break the oil film and cause extensive wear to the liner. The excess oil will not be retained and pass to the combustion chamber and burn off instead.

After gauging the liner, if the wear is found within the prescribed limits by the manufacturer, it will be possible to recondition the liner. This repair is possible by Honing process in the workshop.

Important Marine Engineering Books

Introduction to Marine Engineering

Introduction to Marine Engineering

This second edition deals comprehensively with all aspects of a ship’s machinery from propulsion and steering to deck machinery and electrical equipment with a strong emphasis upon correct and safe procedures.

Material has been added and revised to reflect the greater weight now being placed upon the cost-effective operation of ships; in terms of greater equipment reliability, more fuel-efficient engines, the ever-increasing shift towards automatically operated machinery, and the need for fewer engineering crew. This is an invaluable guide for professionals but equally covers the requirements for Class 4 and Class 3 Engineer’s Certificates of Competency, the first two years of the Engineer Cadet Training Scheme, and the Engineering Knowledge syllabus for the Master’s Certificate.

General Engineering Knowledge for Marine Engineers

General Engineering Knowledge

This textbook is key for all marine engineering officer cadets. Accessibly written and clearly illustrated, General Engineering Knowledge for Marine Engineers takes into account the varying needs of students studying “general” marine engineering, recognizing recent changes to the Merchant Navy syllabus and current pathways to a sea-going engineering career. It includes the latest equipment, practices and trends in marine engineering, as well as incorporating the 2010 Manila Amendments, particularly relating to management.

It is an essential buy for any marine engineering student. This new edition reflects all developments within the discipline and includes updates and additions on, among other things:· Corrosion, water treatments and tests· Refrigeration and air conditioning· Fuels, such as LNG and LPG· Insulation· Low sulphur fuels· Fire and safety Plus updates to many of the technical engineering drawings.

Marine Auxiliary Machinery

Marine Auxiliary Machinery

“The strength and depth of information contained in the book, together with the clarity of the line drawings, makes it ideal for marine engineers studying for certificates of competency but it would also be extremely useful for marine engineer cadets and undergraduate marine engineers. Practising marine engineers, both ashore and afloat would also benefit from possession of this volume which is highly recommended.” Marine Engineer’s Review

Lamb’s Questions and Answers on the Marine Diesel Engine

Lambs Questions and Answers

The book is comprehensive and includes almost all topics needed to understand marine diesel engines. The book explains the role of heat in engineering science, the principles behind internal combustion engines, the role of fuels and lubricants, the cooling systems, the lubricating systems and the heat exchangers.

The book also explains the various parts of the marine engines and their functions. Air-storage tanks and air compressors are also dealt with in the book. Information on balancing and vibration, various instrumentation and control methods, along with the safety measures are covered in the book.

Lamb’s Questions and Answers on the Marine Diesel Engine was published by Butterworth-Heinemann in 1990. The eighth revised edition is available in hardcover.

Key Features:

  • Lamb’s Questions and Answers on the Marine Diesel Engine is an ideal reference and guide for marine engineers.
  • The book explains topics in detail, making it easy for beginners to understand the subject.

Pounder’s Marine Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines 

Pounders Marine Diesel Engines

Pounder’s Marine Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines, Tenth Edition, gives engineering cadets, marine engineers, ship operators and managers insights into currently available engines and auxiliary equipment and trends for the future. This new edition introduces new engine models that will be most commonly installed in ships over the next decade, as well as the latest legislation and pollutant emissions procedures. Since publication of the last edition in 2009, a number of emission control areas (ECAs) have been established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in which exhaust emissions are subject to even more stringent controls. In addition, there are now rules that affect new ships and their emission of CO2 measured as a product of cargo carried.

  • Provides the latest emission control technologies, such as SCR and water scrubbers
  • Contains complete updates of legislation and pollutant emission procedures
  • Includes the latest emission control technologies and expands upon remote monitoring and control of engines

Marine Electrical Equipment and Practice

Marine Electrical

This book Caters to marine engineer candidates for Department of Transport Certification as Marine Engineer Class One and Class Two. It covers the various items of ships’ electrical equipment and explains operating principles.
David McGeorge is a former lecturer in Marine Engineering at the College of Maritime Studies, Warsash, Southampton. He is the author of General Engineering Knowledge.

Practical Marine Electrical Knowledge

Practical Marine Electrical Knowledge

This book’s objective is to help marine and electrical engineers acquire the knowledge required by STCW for management and operational level endorsements and to become more familiar with various electrical applications that can be found on board ship

A Pocket Book of Marine Engineering: Questions and Answers

A Pocket Book of Marine Engineering

A Pocket Book of Marine Engineering: Questions and Answers is a book that covers the topic of air filter for engine in great detail. This book is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about this topic. The author, John Myatt, is a world-renowned expert on marine engineering. In this book, he covers everything from the basics of how these engines work to more advanced topics like choosing the right air filter for your engine. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to air filter for engine, this is the book for you.

This handy pocket-sized guide is filled with hundreds of questions and answers on marine engineering, covering all the basics from engines and propulsion to steering and safety. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about this fascinating subject, whether they’re studying for a qualification or just interested in how boats work. With clear explanations and plenty of diagrams, this book is an essential reference for anyone with an interest in maritime engineering.

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Blog Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our blog on the Cylinder Liners of Diesel Engines. It is a very important part of the engine, but we know that many people are not entirely sure what they do. In this blog, we have covered these parts and included a few helpful tips to help you out. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Thank you for reading, we would love to hear from you!

Good Luck!!

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