In-Situ Sensors and Measurement for Tribological Contacts

The measurement of load, torque, temperature, speed, and displacement is common in many kinds of machines. However, most of these sensors capture data about the machine or individual components at a macro-scale. In tribology the important interactions, and the ones that really need sensing, occur at the micro-scale of contacts. For example, the actual flash temperature on a gear tooth, the contact pressure in a rolling bearing, asperity contact in tilting pad, or the film thickness in a seal. Sensing these parameters in-situ in a tribo-contact is challenging. There are several physical phenomena we can use; electrical resistance and capacitance, optical interference and fluorescence/absorption, and acoustic transmission/reflection. This talk covers some designs of sensors based on these physical principles and what researchers have been able to measure with them. The talk includes the author’s own specialist area ultrasonic reflection and a case study on a wind turbine bearing.

About The Speakers

Professor Rob Dwyer-Joyce, University of Sheffield

Professor Rob Dwyer-Joyce is director of the Leonardo Centre for Tribology at the University of Sheffield researching into fundamental and applied tribology. He is director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Tribology, an EPRSC Advanced Career Fellow, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He pioneered the use of ultrasound for tribological machine elements, inventing instruments for measurement of oil film, contact load, and viscosity. These have been widely used in industry to design machine elements, evaluate lubricants, and monitor engineering machinery.