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Sensors 2017, 17(3), 586; doi:10.3390/s17030586

Photonic Low Cost Micro-Sensor for in-Line Wear Particle Detection in Flowing Lube Oils

1
IK4-Tekniker, Eibar 20600, Spain
2
Department of Communications Engineering, ETSI de Bilbao, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Alameda de Urquijo s/n, Bilbao 48013, Spain
3
Advanced Monitoring Technologies, Eibar 20600, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)

Abstract

The presence of microscopic particles in suspension in industrial fluids is often an early warning of latent or imminent failures in the equipment or processes where they are being used. This manuscript describes work undertaken to integrate different photonic principles with a micro- mechanical fluidic structure and an embedded processor to develop a fully autonomous wear debris sensor for in-line monitoring of industrial fluids. Lens-less microscopy, stroboscopic illumination, a CMOS imager and embedded machine vision technologies have been merged to develop a sensor solution that is able to detect and quantify the number and size of micrometric particles suspended in a continuous flow of a fluid. A laboratory test-bench has been arranged for setting up the configuration of the optical components targeting a static oil sample and then a sensor prototype has been developed for migrating the measurement principles to real conditions in terms of operating pressure and flow rate of the oil. Imaging performance is quantified using micro calibrated samples, as well as by measuring real used lubricated oils. Sampling a large fluid volume with a decent 2D spatial resolution, this photonic micro sensor offers a powerful tool at very low cost and compacted size for in-line wear debris monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: optoelectronic and photonic sensors; object recognition, optical sensors; optical microscopy; optical diffraction; lubricating oils, hydraulic fluids; maintenance optoelectronic and photonic sensors; object recognition, optical sensors; optical microscopy; optical diffraction; lubricating oils, hydraulic fluids; maintenance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mabe, J.; Zubia, J.; Gorritxategi, E. Photonic Low Cost Micro-Sensor for in-Line Wear Particle Detection in Flowing Lube Oils. Sensors 2017, 17, 586.

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