Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


An Integrated Ultrasonic–Inductive Pulse Sensor for Wear Debris Detection

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One approach to detect signs of potential machine failure is to detect wear debris in the lubrication oil of a rotating or reciprocating machine because the size and the concentration of wear debris particles in the oil show a direct relationship with the level of wear. In this article, a proof-of-principle integrated wear debris sensor consisting of an ultrasonic pulse sensor and an inductive pulse sensor for detecting wear debris in lubrication oil is presented. The ultrasonic pulse sensor detects all solid debris (metallic and non-metallic debris). A flow recess structure is utilized to ensure that all wear debris passes the acoustic focal region so that all debris can be accurately counted and sized. The inductive pulse sensor detects and counts all metallic debris (ferrous and non-ferrous) based on the inductive Coulter counting principle. By comparing the results from the two sensing components, the sensor is capable of differentiating and detecting non-metallic debris, ferrous metallic debris and non-ferrous metallic debris.

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Smart Materials and Structures