Ferrography Wear Particle Analysis, performed on a lubricant sample, provides the earliest detection of abnormal machine wear condition and pending failure of interacting machine parts due to tribology-related root causes, before the abnormal wear particles are ground down to sizes small enough to fall within the detection limits of atomicelement spectrometers (1 μm for atomic-absorption spectrometer, 3 μm for ICP atomic-emission spectrometer and 8 μm for RDE atomic-emission spectrometer) and before telling peaks and significant patterns in the vibration spectra become sufficiently discerning for detection by machine vibration monitoring and analysis.
Ferrography Wear Particle Analysis provides comprehensive in-sights into the machine wear condition by identifying:
(e.g. normal rubbing wear, severe sliding wear, cutting wear, corrosive wear, gear wear, bearing
• the wear severity
(wear particle size and concentration)
• the wear particle metallurgy (the source of wear particles)
(e.g. iron, steel, copper, babbit …)
• the cause of wear
(e.g. abnormal loading, misalignment, lube degradation, bearing fatigue spalls, abnormal
It also provides some useful information on:
• the lubricant condition
(e.g. presence of black oxides/severe sliding wear particles indicates lubricant unable to withstand the high load and high temperature; presence of red oxides indicates moisture in the system; presence of decomposed friction polymers indicates lubricant breakdown and depletion of
EP additives …)
• the filter, breather and/or seal condition
(e.g. presence of filter paper or fibres indicates filter element breakdown; presence of sand/dirt and red oxides indicates poorly functioning breather elements or leaking seals…)
Such early detection and comprehensive information allow for timely preventive actions, based on informed decision, to be scheduled and taken to check and resolve any incipient and developing faults to pre-empt accelerated loss of operating efficiency, premature end of equipment useful life, secondary damage and forced outage.
Such machine condition monitoring is essential for high reliability maintenance especially for mission critical equipment to ensure equipment availability, production quality and plant safety.
Ferrography Wear Particle Analysis Instruments
1. DR III C Direct Reading Ferrograph
2. FM III Ferrogram Maker
3. Ferroscope IV