The measurement and trending of abnormal ferrous wear debris in machinery lubrication oils is arguably the most significant indicator of Machinery HealthTM
and a key predictor of catastrophic failure. Monitoring of abnormal ferrous content for industrial oil analysis is a well-established practice; common techniques include time resolved dielectric (5200 Minilab) or magnetometer based designs such as the FerroCheck 2000.
With some instruments there is no quantified result of ferrous content in ppm or mg/ml, instead, a dimensionless index called the “PQ” index is reported. The PQ instrument reports values on a scale from PQ=0 (no ferrous) up to a maximum value, typically PQ=750. A PQ reading < 25 is considered ‘normal’ wear.
The LaserNet 230 Particle Counter, Wear Classifier, and Ferrous Monitor instrument includes an innovative, patent pending magnetometer design for abnormal wear measurement and trending by ferrous measurement. The dual magnetometer design provides both a total ferrous measurement (mg/ml) as well as a ferrous particle count and particle size distribution for Fe>25, 38, 50, and 100μ.
The FerroCheck also uses a magnetometer design to quickly and easily measure ferrous wear.
The core of the FerroCheck 2000 is a pair of precision rounded coils that when powered, generate magnetic fields. When a small amount of in-service oil is inserted into one of the coils, ferrous particles, such as Iron, Nickel, and Cobalt, interact with the magnetic field and introduce current changes in the coils. The amount of current change is proportional to the amount of Ferrous particles in the oil, calibrated by weight in parts per million (ppm).
The sample vial that holds the oil or grease sample is designed to optimize the position in the measurement coil. Before the measurement, the coils are automatically balanced electrically, removing the impact on measurement from ambient temperature variation. The result is repeatable and stable measurement regardless of operator and environmental temperature, which is critical for a large service team doing on-site oil and grease analysis in the field.
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