Lubricants Health Monitoring

Giovanni Jacazio, Marco Libraro, Andrea Mornacchi, and Massimo Sorli
Submission Type: 
Full Paper
phmc_13_061.pdf203.28 KBSeptember 11, 2013 - 3:33am

Several research activities in prognostics and health magement of gears and bearings addressed the issue of measuring quantity and size of debris in the lubricant as a way to assess the health status of these components. In fact, detecting and counting the debris particles with magnetic and visual sensors provides an indication of a developing fault and of its progression with time.
On the other hand, an ongoing research on the failure mechanisms for the mechanical components of the electomechanical actuators for aerospace applications showed that fault inception and growth are often heavily affected by the lubricant health. As a consequence, monitoring the lubricant health status, in particular the oil oxidation stability and not only the quantity of oil debris, and signaling a degradation of the lubricant properties could improve the reliability of the actuator mechanical components.
A further merit of implementing a lubricant health monitoring system is the possibility to move from a time-based maintenance to a condition-based maintenance with the ensuing decrease of operating costs and reduction of the environmental impact. This would be of a particular advantage for those applications in which loss of operation generated by poor lubrication could cause a service disruption or a lead to a safety critical condition.
The proposed paper presents the initial part of an ongoing research activity on lubricants health monitoring. The work so far performed in the research activity focused on the most important features of the lubricants used in the majority of mechanical systems, which occurences affect the lubricant health and how the oil health status can be assessed by different techniques (TOST, RBOT, FTIR, sealed capsule DSC), whose relative merits will be discussed.
Moreover, an analysis will be presented on how the above mentioned tests can be fused with other conventional measuring techniques in order to develop an efficient on-line lubricant health monitoring system.

Publication Year: 
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Submission Keywords: 
lubrication oil
mechanical components
Submission Topic Areas: 
Component-level PHM
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