Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


A Magnetic Coulter Counting Device for Wear Debris Detection in Lubrication

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-13-2009


A device based on a magnetic Coulter counting principle to detect metal particles in lubrication oil is presented. The device detects the passage of ferrous and non ferrous particles by monitoring inductance change in a coil. First, the sensing principle is demonstrated at the mesoscale using a solenoid. Next, a microscale device is developed using a planar coil. The device is tested using iron and aluminum particles ranging from 100μm to 500μm. The testing results show the device is capable of detecting and distinguishing ferrous and non-ferrous metal particles in lubrication oil. The design concept demonstrated here can be extended to a microfluidic device for online monitoring of ferrous and non-ferrous wear debris particles.

Publication Title

ASME Proceedings 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


Volume 12: Micro and Nano Systems, Parts A and B


Paper No. IMECE2009-10967

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