The Ultrasound service focuses on a multi-frequency sonic/ultrasonic analysis that can be used to monitor issues with greasing.
The Achilles’ heel of lubricant condition monitoring. Although grease analysis is practical from a testing point of view, it is impractical from a sampling point of view. Considering the numbers of machines that are grease lubricated, this problem, “How to do condition monitoring on grease?” is a serious one that needs to be addressed.
Maintenance professionals often report the biggest problems with their tribology program are over-greasing, under-greasing, wrong grease, and sometimes no grease at all. Over-greasing causes high temperatures and results in shedding of oil from grease. Under-greasing causes inadequate lubricant delivery. The wrong grease in a bearing also has the same effect. It doesn’t properly deliver oil to the loaded rollers. All these result in lubricant-starved bearings. These problems (over-greasing, under-greasing, wrong grease, and no grease at all) cause increased energy loss due to friction. This energy shows up as mechanical energy (ultrasonic) and thermal energy (heat).
A multi-frequency sonic/ultrasonic measurement with calibrated decibel (DB) output can be used to quickly identify bearings starved for grease lubrication. At the same time it can identify and quantify mechanical impacting. The sonic frequency band is optimized for detection of impacting. The first ultrasonic frequency band is optimized for friction-induced noise, and the second ultrasonic frequency band is better suited for leakage detection, such as may be present in compressors, valves, etc.
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