Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


An Integrated Lubricant Oil Conditioning Sensor Using Signal Multiplexing

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-2015


One effective approach to detect signs of potential failure of a rotating or reciprocating machine is to examine the conditions of its lubrication oil. Here we present an integrated oil condition sensor for detecting both wear debris and lubricant properties. The integrated sensor consists of miniature multiplexed sensing elements for detection of wear debris and measurements of viscosity and moisture. The oil debris sensing element consists of eight sensing channels to detect wear debris in parallel; the elements for measuring oil viscosity and moisture, based on interdigital electrode sensing, were fabricated using micromachining. The integrated sensor was installed and tested in a laboratory lubricating system. Signal multiplexing was applied to the outputs of the three sensing elements such that responses from all sensing elements were obtained within two measurements, and the signal-to-noise ratio was improved. Testing results show that the integrated sensor is capable of measuring wear debris (>50 µm), moisture (>50 ppm) and viscosity (>12.4 cSt) at a high throughput (200 ml min−1). The device can be potentially used for online health monitoring of rotating machines.

Publication Title

Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering





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