Primary Functions of the Marine Engine Cylinder Head and When to Service It

Blog | February 21st, 2023

Marine vessels rely on a wide range of components to keep them moving across the waters. One of the things that can help carry out their intended purpose is the marine engine.

The marine engine of ships, boats, and others intends to propel them from one area to another. It works by converting heat out of burning fuel into useful mechanical energy for work purposes. Most marine vessels take advantage of an internal combustion engine, which functions by combusting fuel inside the engine cylinder and generating heat post-combustion.

Now, to ensure that the combustion can take place inside the marine engine effectively, it takes advantage of a vital component called the cylinder head.

Key Functions of a Marine Engine Cylinder Head

The cylinder head of a marine engine is primarily used to cover the top part of the cylinder liner. It can work as a main cover for the combustion chamber, enclosing the area where the combustion happens in the engine. It likewise has numerous mountings, which often include a fuel valve, relief valve, starting air valve, and others. The presence of the cylinder head allows the fuel and air to flow through and the exhaust to flow out.

These functions alone make the marine engine cylinder head more complicated than other engine parts. And since it will be exposed to high levels of thermal and mechanical stresses, manufacturers of this part must ensure that it will be built optimally. Some materials that can make this part effective and strong are cast iron and cast steel.

Most of the time, the marine engine cylinder head is integrated into the cylinder block through bolts. The way it is installed can help it resist a wide range of damaging forces like corrosion, scaling, sludge formation, and others.

Marine Engine Cylinder Head Common Problems

The working principles of the cylinder head make it a vital part of the marine engine. It can, however, generate cracks and other issues due to numerous reasons.

First, it may be exposed to too much heat. The combustion process can generate heat. However, as the temperature rises, the cylinder head’s metals may expand, which can then cause its parts to crack. Another potential reason behind issues with the cylinder head is worn-out valves. The existence of worn valves may cause leaks into the combustion chamber, making the marine engine less efficient in the long run.

If you are currently managing a marine vessel, you must know how to verify whether your cylinder head is working optimally or not. One sign your cylinder head may not be working optimally anymore is if your marine engine uses more fuel than normal. Another strong sign you have a faulty cylinder head is the significant increase in oil consumption. Ultimately, your cylinder head requires servicing or replacement if your engine overheats frequently.

To ensure that your marine engine cylinder head will be serviced optimally, you must only hire a professional to do it. You can contact us at Wildon Engineering if you need help.

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