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  • 1.
    Dittes, Nicholas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Sensors for Water Contamination in Lubricating Grease2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this dissertation is to summarize the research carried out that led to the development of measurement techniques which measure the water content of lubricating grease. Calcium sulphonate complex (CaS-X) grease was used in all experiments for Papers A through E, with some additional greases used in Paper D.

    A simple and effective grease mixing method for preparing grease samples was developed and tested for repeatability. The water content of these samples was also tested with time and temperature as added variables to study if and how much water will evaporate from the samples.

    Additionally, three measurement principles were investigated: optical attenuation in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) region, a dielectric measurement method, and a galvanic current method.

    The optical attenuation investigation found that the attenuation ratio of two wavelengths of light appear to approximate the water content of grease samples with an acceptable coefficient of determination. Additionally, aged and oxidized grease samples were measured in the experiment and were not found to affect the measurement results. The dielectric method uses the temperature dependence on the dielectric properties of water-contaminated grease to approximate the water content of the grease samples. An additional parameter of incomplete fill/coverage of the sensor has been investigated as a prestudy. The dielectric method was further optimized with computer automated measurements where an improved and miniaturized sensor was developed and used. A different method using the galvanic current between two different metals from the galvanic series was used to estimate water content as well. All three methods were found to provide measurements of water content in the prepared grease samples (ranging from 0.22% to 5.5% added water). The dielectric measurement is likely going to be better for applications requiring the possibility of measuring a larger bulk of the grease within the bearing, with the capability of using several different configurations of sensors for different types of bearings and applications. It shows promise for providing an accurate and robust system for monitoring grease condition as well as the amount of grease contained. The optical measurement will likely provide additional information; however, it will only measure small point samples within the bearing instead of the larger bulk. This could be of use though, because the sensors could be small (in the several millimeter scale) and could measure where water damage is determined to be most important to detect at. The galvanic current method was also found to provide a useful correlation to water content but may provide additional information about how corrosive the grease has become, indirectly estimating the water content.

    The research contained herein has shown promise for future development for developing new grease condition monitoring tools. The optical, dielectric, and galvanic methods have their own unique challenges and may provide useful information in different applications, or perhaps be used in conjunction with each other to provide a more complete diagnostic tool.

  • 2.
    Dittes, Nicholas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Water in Grease Condition Monitoring Literature Review2013Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to outline the basics of lubricant condition monitoring and relate that to what could potentially be used to monitor the condition of grease and the water content thereof. Some of the physics and principles behind these methods will also be investigated. There is little to no previous published research about condition monitoring of water in grease even though there is considerable research on condition monitoring of grease lubricated bearings. Because of this gap in knowledge, it is an important first step to investigate existing monitoring methods for various lubricants. It could be that new methods will be adapted to measure water content in grease.Methods involving the measurement of the dielectric constant through capacitance, inductance and conduction will be investigated. Various spectroscopic devices will also be investigated ranging from UV to visible to IR wavelength spectroscopy. A brief introduction of several possible future methods will be included as well.Although the effects of water will not be discussed far beyond the consequences, the detection of water and condition monitoring tools will be. Methods of water detection in lubricants will be discussed.

  • 3.
    Dittes, Nicholas J.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Bearing with condition monitoring sensor2018Patent (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    A bearing arrangement is disclosed. The bearing arrangement includes a bearing with a bearing lubricant. A first electrically conductive portion and a second electrically conductive portion, which have different electronegativities, are in direct contact with the bearing lubricant. The bearing lubricant and the first and second electrically conductive portions form an electrolyte and two electrodes, respectively, of an electrochemical cell. The bearing arrangement further includes a sensor connected to the first electrically conductive portion and to the second electrically conductive portion, the sensor being configured to measure at least one of a current and a galvanic potential between the first and second electrically conductive portions and to determine a water content in the bearing lubricant based on the measurement.

  • 4.
    Dittes, Nicholas J.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Capacitance measurement in a bearing2018Patent (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

     A bearing arrangement includes a bearing having an inner race and an outer race and a plurality of rolling elements arranged between the inner and outer race such that the first race is rotatable relative the second race; bearing lubricant arranged within the bearing to lubricate the rolling elements. The bearing arrangement provides a first electrically conductive portion and a second electrically conductive portion, the first and second electrically conductive portion being electrically insulated and arranged such that at least a portion of the bearing lubricant is located between the first and second electrically conductive portion; and a capacitance meter having a first electrode connected to the first electrically conductive portion and a second electrode connected to the second electrically conductive portion, configured to measure a capacitance between the first ring and the second ring to determine a water content in the lubricant based on the measured capacitance.

  • 5.
    Dittes, Nicholas J.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics.
    Condition Monitoring of Water Contamination in Lubricating Grease for Tribological Contacts2016Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this thesis is to summarize the research carried out that led to the development of measurement techniques which measure the water content of lubricating grease. A simple and effective grease mixing method for preparing grease samples was developed and tested for repeatability. Calcium sulphonate complex (CaS-X) grease was used in all experiments. The water content of these samples were also tested with time and temperature as added variables to study if and how much water will evaporate from the samples. Additionally, two measurement techniques were investigated: optical attenuation in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) region and with a dielectric measurement method. The optical attenuation investigation found that the attenuation ratio of two wavelengths of light appear to approximate the water content of grease samples with an acceptable coefficient of determination. Additionally, aged and oxidized grease were measured as well and were not found to affect the measurement results. The dielectric method uses the temperature dependence on the dielectric properties of water-contaminated grease to approximate the water content of the grease samples. An additional parameter of incomplete fill/coverage of the sensor has been investigated as a prestudy. Both methods were found to provide measurements of water content in the prepared grease samples (ranging from 0.22% to 5.5% added water). The dielectric measurement is likely going to be better for applications requiring the possibility of measuring a larger bulk of the grease within the bearing. It shows promise for providing an accurate and robust system for monitoring grease condition as well as the amount of grease contained. The optical measurement will likely provide additional information; however, it will only measure small point samples within the bearing instead of the larger bulk. This could be of use though, because the sensors could be small (in the several millimeter scale) and could measure where water damage is determined to be most important to detect at.

  • 6.
    Dittes, Nicholas J.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Fluid and Experimental Mechanics. Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Pettersson, Anders (Contributor)
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Lang, Defeng (Contributor)
    SKF.
    Corrosion Sensor for Water Contamintated Grease2019In: Tribology Transactions, ISSN 1040-2004, E-ISSN 1547-397XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A simple and inexpensive corrosion sensor has been manufactured to study the corrosion rate of new and water contaminated grease using a galvanic cell. This paper shows the methodology in using this concept for any application which may require quantifying the corrosivity of a liquid or semisolid which could be applied to the surface of the sensor. Water contamination is a problem in many grease lubricated machine components, so a sensor concept was developed and a correlation between water content and the corrosion rate is shown. This method could be used to precisely study the corrosion rate of aged or contaminated lubricants and could potentially be used as a cheap and simple way to estimate water contamination of grease.

  • 7.
    Dittes, Nicholas
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Marklund, Pär
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Pettersson, Anders
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Mixing Grease with Water2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to convey a simple and effective method to mix water with grease and verify the homogeneity of the mixture using Karl-Fischer (KF) titration as the analysis tool. This is required to better develop a future water in grease sensor for on-line condition monitoring. This paper will also attempt to investigate how well KF titration functions as a tool for measuring water content in grease. Additional investigations include how the water content varies with time in grease samples open to atmosphere at different temperature. This research verifies a simple grease mixing method and investigates the water transport in water contaminated grease samples.

  • 8.
    Dittes, Nicholas
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Pettersson, Anders
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Marklund, Pär
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Lang, Defeng
    SKF Engineering and Research Center, Nieuwegein.
    Lugt, Piet M.
    SKF Engineering and Research Center, Nieuwegein.
    Dielectric Thermoscopy Characterization of Water Contaminated Grease2018In: Tribology Transactions, ISSN 1040-2004, E-ISSN 1547-397X, Vol. 74, no 3, p. 60-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The temperature dependence on the dielectric properties of water-contaminated grease is investigated in this article. The purpose of this investigation was to identify the dielectric properties that could be measured to differentiate varying levels of water contamination in calcium sulfonate complex (CaS-X) grease with three different test cells with the purpose of eventually developing a grease condition sensor. Measuring the change in dielectric constant over a small temperature change yielded useful estimations of water content and amount of grease where the added water content ranged from 0.22% to about 5.5%. Additionally, other parameters such as incomplete fill/coverage of the sensors were investigated as a prestudy. The results from this set of experiments show that the measurement has potential to be developed into a condition monitoring sensor in the future.

  • 9.
    Dittes, Nicholas
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Pettersson, Anders
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Sjödahl, Mikael
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Fluid and Experimental Mechanics.
    Casselgren, Johan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Fluid and Experimental Mechanics.
    Marklund, Pär
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Lugt, Piet M.
    SKF Engineering and Research Center, Nieuwegein.
    Optical Attenuation Characterization of Water Contaminated Lubricating Grease2018In: Tribology Transactions, ISSN 1040-2004, E-ISSN 1547-397X, Vol. 61, no 4, p. 726-732Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Water-contaminated grease samples are investigated with attenuation spectra in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) regions in this article. The purpose of this investigation was to identify a model with optical attenuation spectra such that the water content of grease samples could be characterized with a simple measurement setup using common methodology from the field of instrumental chemistry. The ratio between two chosen wavelengths of light appears to approximate the water content of grease samples with an acceptable coefficient of determination using a methodology to show what can potentially be done to develop condition monitoring tools. To illustrate the outlined method, a prestudy of grease aging and oxidation levels is also investigated to show that other variables do not significantly change the measurement.

  • 10.
    Dittes, Nicholas
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Sjödahl, Mikael
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Fluid and Experimental Mechanics.
    Pettersson, Anders
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
    Lang, Defeng
    SKF Research & Technology Development Nieuwegein, the Netherlands.
    Automated Dielectric Thermoscopy Characterization of Water Contaminated Grease2019In: Tribology Transactions, ISSN 1040-2004, E-ISSN 1547-397X, Vol. 62, no 5, p. 859-867Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Machine maintenance is important for improving machine uptime, reliability, and reducing costs. Grease is used in most rolling element bearings, and one common failure criterion is water contamination, so developing a sensor which can detect water content automatically without human input could be a useful endeavor. The temperature dependence on the dielectric properties of water-contaminated grease is investigated in this paper with computer logged instrumentation. This method has been termed Dielectric Thermoscopy (DT). Several off the shelf (two lithium, one lithium complex, and two calcium sulphonate complex) and one unadditivized lithium grease are tested with varying amounts of water contamination from 0% to approximately 5%. Another grease is tested with small increments of added water from 0% to 0.97% to test the resolution of the measurement. The purpose is to use the capacitance temperature slope (termed dielectric thermoscopy) to show correlations to the water content of the grease sample and investigate if any grease types will pose problems in the measurement. A small, custom made fringe field capacitance sensor with an integrated temperature sensor has been used for this characterization and data is logged automatically with laboratory equipment and a PC. A useable and positive correlation to water content and the DT measurement of roughly 0.5 pF per 10 °C and percentage of water is found, although it was found that some greases have different behavior than others.

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