Originally posted by sm:
Has anyone come across a client asking as to can oil condition monitoring (used oil analysis and ferrography) pin point from which part or which of the many similar bearings in a moving machine (say engine, compressor or hydraulic system, gearing and transmission, etc.) is the generation of these wear particles taking place?
Kindly enlighten me.
The condition you describe is pretty much the normal responce/request from an internal or external client. Pin pointing the material source is fairly simple when you get down to the analysis of the component. For example of the components you mentioned above..... they all (normally) are lubricated by seperate and different systems and compartments. So they end up being analysed seperatly. So now if you get wear or contamination in the oil sample you already have it narrowed down to the metalurigical make-up of the components in that machine. So if it looked like it was a bearing in an engine (either spark or compression), you might see some copper some lead and some silver etc. Who cares which bearing on the crankshaft that is wearing or if is a little bit from each bearing. If the ferrography does not show signs of increassed wear rates and pending failure and or the spectro doesn't show abnormal wear generation rates. Then the condition needs to be monitored until the condition changes. Having said that of course the consequences have to be weighed against the cost of inspection and overhaul etc.
So once a history and metalurigical understanding of the component if developed it then becomes fairly easy to provide that type of analysis to a client regarding the most likely source to assign as the source of the analysis results.