Every rotating machine is subject to wear as a result of friction. Friction first produces very small particles, which increase in number until finally the particle size increases. The quantity of particles provides valuable information about the machine condition and the degree of wear. Information on wear can be obtained at a very early stage by monitoring not only the particle quantity, but also the particle size.
This method is used to supplement vibration-based condition monitoring primarily for low-speed components with very low vibration levels. It provides an early indication of wear-related errors and disruptions in circulating oil-lubricated machine components, such as low-speed gear stages.
Requirements for an online particle size distribution counter
Based on our in-house eddy current testing technology, PRUFTECHNIK has developed an online system for continuous monitoring of metal wear particles and particle size in lubricating oil. The following criteria have thereby emerged as critical success factors.
Size-dependent counting and detection of particle quantities, which indicate a worsening of the condition.
Use of a measurement method that detects only electrically conductive particles, without interference from foam/air inclusions, contaminations, additives or darkening.
Available as an online sensor system with integrated signal processing.
Autonomous operation with signaling.
Integration into process control systems (e.g. via Modbus).