The development of ferrography in China—some personal reflections

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<ul><li><p>rog</p><p>refl</p><p>. X</p><p>an Un</p><p>line 1</p><p>Sinc</p><p>carr</p><p>s. Ac</p><p>t. Th</p><p>atlases have been produced by individual organisations.</p><p>onal 3distribution function of particle concentrations in lubricatedChinese Tribology delegation attended the Eurotrib Con-</p><p>ference in 1977. Several ferrographic instruments were</p><p>purchased and subsequently, further developed as a direct</p><p>result of research carried out in several universities and</p><p>research institutions. A considerable amount of laboratory</p><p>testing has been carried out in laboratories in conjunction with</p><p>various wear investigations, in which ferrography has</p><p>contributed considerably to enhancing the understanding of</p><p>the principal wear mechanisms. Some of the results of</p><p>fundamental research have since been applied to tackling</p><p>serious wear-related problems that arise in industry. Good</p><p>results, leading to substantial benefits, have been achieved,</p><p>particularly through applying the research knowledge to</p><p>improving the techniques deployed to monitor the wear</p><p>condition of a wide spectrum of industrial machinery and</p><p>components. Most notably this is evident in relation to IC</p><p>engines and gearboxes; also in the manufacturing industry,</p><p>marine installations, railways, metallurgical, mining, petro-</p><p>chemical and automobiles industries.</p><p>wear debris deposited on ferrogram substrates exhibit</p><p>different characteristics under the same wear condition,</p><p>selective groups of wear debris groups congregating on</p><p>ferrograms generally portray the same characteristics for the</p><p>same wear condition. Hence, the true wear condition can</p><p>best be deduced by analysing debris group characteristics.</p><p>One application of group debris approach has been</p><p>demonstrated in relation to the failure predictions for</p><p>some mining machines [2,3]. Wear particle identification</p><p>plays an important role in ferrographic analysis. Investi-</p><p>gations employing artificial intelligence methods have been</p><p>focused primarily on fractal, wavelet, and information</p><p>fusion theories [4,5]. An Image View software for use in</p><p>connection with wear debris analysis has been developed at</p><p>the Wuhan Research Institution of Material Protection. The</p><p>software is used to analyse particle size measurement, shape</p><p>features and quantity (area calculation, etc.), has been</p><p>applied in practice with promising results. Wear particleThe development of fer</p><p>personal</p><p>H.L</p><p>School of Energy and Power Engineering, Wuh</p><p>Available on</p><p>Abstract</p><p>Ferrography was first introduced into China over 20 years ago.</p><p>intelligent identification of wear particle and other aspects have been</p><p>monitoring in industry has been achieved with attendant cost benefit</p><p>which British scientists have made a considerable contribution to i</p><p>q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.</p><p>Keywords: Ferrography; Development; Oil monitoring; China</p><p>1. Introduction</p><p>Ferrography was first introduced in China when theTribology Internatiraphy in Chinasome</p><p>ections</p><p>iao</p><p>iversity of Technology, Wuhan 430063, China</p><p>3 June 2005</p><p>e then, academic research on wear debris formation mechanisms,</p><p>ied out. Successful application of ferrography to machine condition</p><p>ademic research has accelerated the development of ferrography, in</p><p>e future of ferrography is encouraging.</p><p>machine systems, and advanced the concept that particle</p><p>concentration in lubricated systems is essentially a station-</p><p>ary concentration. Yang established that whereas individual</p><p>8 (2005) 904907</p><p>www.elsevier.com/locate/tribointLiu [1] analysed the numerical characteristics of thegearbox transmissions, marine machinery, hydraulic sys-</p><p>tems and port sites at 15 harbours, marine companies and</p><p>university-based laboratory testing. The atlas comprises five</p><p>chapters of typical wear particles, contaminants, particle</p><p>analysis methods, wear particles of some machines under0301-679X/$ - see front matter q 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.</p><p>doi:10.1016/j.triboint.2005.03.0102. Academic researchFor instance, the Wear Particle Atlas for Port Machines</p><p>consists of 304 photographs collected from diesel engines,</p></li><li><p>an oil monitoring network located at each railway</p><p>administration and its depot around the country. In the</p><p>evident that oil monitoring of marine machinery can be</p><p>employed successfully [7]. In 1996, CCS revised the Rules</p><p>and Regulations for the Construction and Classification of</p><p>Sea-going Steel Ships, to permit the use of oil monitoring</p><p>techniques. Consequently, two guidance notes were issued,</p><p>respectively, in 1996 and 1997 [8,9]. The guidelines stipulated</p><p>that condition-based maintenance management could be</p><p>formally adopted for use with marine machinery [10]. Since</p><p>then, three oil monitoring centres certified by CCS have been</p><p>established, at Guangzhou, Dalian and Wuhan for oil</p><p>condition monitoring of diesel engines, propeller shafts and</p><p>other, related equipment.</p><p>(Fig. 1). A high concentration of copper alloy particles,</p><p>ernational 38 (2005) 904907 905early 1990s, Guangzhou Research Institution of Tool</p><p>Machine setup its oil analysis laboratory as a commercial</p><p>venture. Many samples from generating stations and oil</p><p>companies were sent for processing and analysis there. The</p><p>Baosteel Equipment Detection Company, a subsidiary of the</p><p>Baosteel Group in Shanghai, is equipped with comprehen-</p><p>sive oil analysis instruments.</p><p>Oil monitoring techniques constitute the principal part of</p><p>any condition-based maintenance programme. However, due</p><p>to the stringent requirement of safety and reliability applied</p><p>throughout the marine machinery, maintenance has been</p><p>traditionally carried by using periodic planned maintenance</p><p>methods. Inspection rules of Classification Societies for</p><p>marine machinery are based on time-base concepts. With</p><p>the approval of the China Classification Society (CCS), Dalian</p><p>Port Authority undertook an oil monitoring program fordifferent operation conditions and abnormal wear particles</p><p>contained in samples captured from operating machinery.</p><p>In the application of ferrography to machine condition</p><p>monitoring, a vast number of data has been collected and</p><p>processed. However, it is a time consuming and tedious</p><p>work for analysts, particularly those operating within an</p><p>industrial environment. Consequently, multifunction soft-</p><p>ware programs have been devised and trialled under</p><p>controlled laboratory conditions. The software comprises a</p><p>data bank, quantitative analysis and other monitoring</p><p>records depending upon the requirements of laboratories.</p><p>Oil Analysis Software Package with functions of oil</p><p>analysis management and intelligence, developed by</p><p>Baosteel, Xian Jiaotong University, Wuhan University of</p><p>Technology and Beijing Railways, has been successfully</p><p>deployed in Baosteel [6].</p><p>3. Industrial applications</p><p>In conjunction with the increasing utilisation of oil</p><p>analysis methods, ferrography has been applied to industrial</p><p>applications since the late 1980s. It is mainly used for</p><p>machine condition monitoring as an integral part of an oil</p><p>monitoring programme. The main areas of application are</p><p>those concerned with railways, metallurgical industry,</p><p>petrochemical, mining, harbour installations, power</p><p>stations, shipping and other industries. The types of</p><p>equipment monitored are primarily IC engines, turbines,</p><p>gearboxes and other transmission systems, mining</p><p>machines, metallurgical machines, harbour machinery,</p><p>hydraulic systems and large rolling bearings.</p><p>A number of oil analysis laboratories have been</p><p>established in universities, research institutions and indus-</p><p>trial enterprises.</p><p>The Ministry of Railways established a condition</p><p>monitoring programme for railway equipment and setup</p><p>H.L. Xiao / Tribology Inttugboats from 1991 to 1993. Based on this experience, it is0102030405060708090</p><p>100</p><p>100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900Engine running hours/h</p><p>Fe,Cu</p><p>/ppm</p><p>01002003004005006007008009001000</p><p>Pb/p</p><p>pm</p><p>CuFePb4. Some case studies</p><p>4.1. Case 1: marine diesel engine [11]</p><p>A type CAT 3606 diesel engine is installed on No. 11</p><p>tugboat based at Qinghuangdao Port as the port main engine.</p><p>During monitoring over a period of 3 months, a numbers of</p><p>steel fatigue chunky and severe sliding wear particles were</p><p>observed on ferrogram slides. After inspection of the engine, it</p><p>was found that one of the fuel rollers was severely worn.</p><p>4.2. Case 2: locomotive diesel engine [11]</p><p>A type 16V280ZJA diesel engine was monitored over a</p><p>four month period. Aluminium alloy chunky and cutting wear</p><p>particles, ranging in size from 245!25 mm up to 720!225 mm were observed on four ferrograms. Subsequentinspection indicated that eight connecting bearings (SnAl</p><p>alloy) and six small bearings (SnAl alloy) adhered severely;</p><p>five crankpins had also seized up.</p><p>4.3. Case 3: hydraulic multi-plate clutch [11]</p><p>Track tamping machines were periodically monitored</p><p>with spectrometry and ferrography. Oil samples taken from</p><p>the hydraulic multi-plate clutch after 600 operational hours</p><p>showed a high concentration of the elements Cu and PbFig. 1. Concentration of elements Fe, Cu and Pb.</p></li><li><p>40 mm and above was observed. Subsequent on-siteinspection indicated that two sets of clutch plates had</p><p>adhered together.</p><p>4.4. Case 4: marine steering propeller [10]</p><p>Two SRP300 steering propellers mounted on a tugboat</p><p>operating in Shenzhen Habour have been monitored since</p><p>1999. Viscosity, water content and flash point of used oil are</p><p>measured. Metal element concentration, and the particle</p><p>density of used oil, are tested by using a Spectroil M Oil</p><p>Analysis spectrometer and ferrography. More recently, an</p><p>Wales, Swansea and Wuhan Transportation University</p><p>was held at Xian in March 2426 1997. One hundred and</p><p>America and China. This first joint conference between</p><p>Peoples Republic of China and the UK was sponsored by</p><p>the National Science Foundation of China, the State</p><p>Education Commission of China and the Ministry of</p><p>Communications, China.</p><p>6. Closure</p><p>Since its introduction into China in the late 1970s,</p><p>Ferrography has developed rapidly from its inauspicious</p><p>beginnings into a powerful tool for tribological research and</p><p>also as a valuable aid to the condition-based maintenance</p><p>community. Since then, hundreds of ferrograph instruments</p><p>SZ1-4-21 1431 1431 Trace 52.4 54.2 3.5</p><p>SZ1-4-31 1703 1703 Nil 60.5 44.2 14</p><p>H.L. Xiao / Tribology Internati906IR spectrometer and a Particle Quantifier device have also</p><p>been utilised with sampling intervals of approximately 3</p><p>months.</p><p>Table 1 shows partial results of analysis obtained for oil</p><p>samples extracted from the port steering propeller lubrica-</p><p>tion system. From 1137 running hours, the water content in</p><p>the oil increased quite markedly to 0.18% at 18:56 h. Over</p><p>the same time period, spectrometric oil analysis (SOA)</p><p>of the used oil indicated a similar marked increase in the</p><p>parts per million (ppm) levels of elements Fe, Cu and Na.</p><p>The increase in the level of the first two elements indicated</p><p>that an increase in gear tooth wear had occurred; the</p><p>increase in the latter element suggested ingression of</p><p>seawater. Wear particle analysis revealed an increase in</p><p>particle concentration, while viewing the ferrograms in the</p><p>optical microscope showed evidence of fatigue chunks.</p><p>After 19:10 h, on-site inspection confirmed that a connec-</p><p>tion in the oil cooler system was corroded with consequen-</p><p>tial leakage of seawater into the machine. After repairs had</p><p>been carried out the subsequent readings showed that the</p><p>readings had returned to normal baseline levels.</p><p>Table 2 shows partial results of oil analysis carried out</p><p>for the starboard steering propeller. The oil water content</p><p>was still normal up to, and including, 1703 operating hours.</p><p>The next two readings, however, showed a distinct increase</p><p>to 0.48%. FT-IR spectrometric analysis showed a similar</p><p>result. The SOA results indicated a substantial increase in</p><p>the Na level, thereby confirming a sudden leakage of</p><p>seawater into the system. On-site inspection revealed that a</p><p>spring in the seal ring mounted between the propeller shaft</p><p>Table 1</p><p>Oil analysis readings of port steering propeller (SZ1-3)</p><p>Oil sample</p><p>code</p><p>Running</p><p>hours</p><p>Oil</p><p>used</p><p>hours</p><p>Water</p><p>content</p><p>(%)</p><p>SOA (ppm)</p><p>Fe Cu Na</p><p>SZ1-3-01 897 117 Trace 31.9 12.93 19.3</p><p>SZ1-3-11 1137 161 0.13 10.5 10.1 27.7</p><p>SZ1-3-21 1431 455 0.065 36.1 23.6 46.6</p><p>SZ1-3-31 1703 727 0.14 69.6 19.9 57.8</p><p>SZ1-3-41 1856 882 0.18 138 22.7 260</p><p>SZ1-3-51 1910 940 0.15 132 20.6 98.5</p><p>SZ1-3-61 2113 183 Trace 23.5 2.3 7.2</p><p>SZ1-3-71 2341 411 Nil 51.7 3 9.8</p><p>SZ1-3-81 2634 704 Nil 28.1 2.3 6.3seventeen delegates attended, including representatives</p><p>from Argentina, Australia, Germany, Holland, Hong</p><p>Kong, Poland, Russia, United Kingdom, United States ofand hub had broken. Upon replacing the damaged part,</p><p>subsequent readings showed that a normal level of operation</p><p>had been restored.</p><p>5. Academic activities</p><p>The Ferrography Committee (previously the Oil Moni-</p><p>toring Committee) was first instituted in 1986 as a sub-</p><p>committee of the Tribology Institute of CMES (Chinese</p><p>Mechanical Engineering Society) and the Chinese Society</p><p>for Vibration Engineering. As a result of its activities, five</p><p>national Ferrography conference were held, respectively, in</p><p>1986, 1990, 1994, 1999 and 2002. Also, several training</p><p>courses and seminars have been organized.</p><p>Academic exchange visits and collaborations in the</p><p>field of ferrography have carried out, notably with the</p><p>University of Wales Swansea and Wuhan University of</p><p>Technology (formerly, Wuhan University of Water</p><p>Transportation).</p><p>The fifth International Condition Monitoring Conference</p><p>organized by Xian Jiaotong University, University of</p><p>SZ1-4-41 1856 1856 0.27 47.4 41.6 276</p><p>SZ1-4-51 1910 1910 0.48 45.9 37.1 279</p><p>SZ1-4-61 2113 183 Trace 16.9 0.9 7.7</p><p>SZ1-4-71 2341 411 Nil 42 1.4 9.4</p><p>SZ1-4-81 2634 704 Nil 20.2 0.8 5.3Table 2</p><p>Oil analysis readings of starboard steering propeller (SZ1-4)</p><p>Oil sample</p><p>code</p><p>Running</p><p>hours</p><p>Oil</p><p>used</p><p>hours</p><p>Water</p><p>content</p><p>(%)</p><p>SOA (ppm)</p><p>Fe Cu Na</p><p>SZ1-4-01 897 897 Trace 35.4 49.2 3.2</p><p>SZ1-4-11 1137 1137 Nil 37.5 41.4 3.2</p><p>onal 38 (2005) 904907have been invested in universities, research institutions,</p></li><li><p>industries and other organisations. Research on wear</p><p>particle formation mechanisms, software-based intelligence</p><p>identification of wear particle morphology, data processing</p><p>and monitoring management tools have been under devel-</p><p>opment. As an effective method for monitoring wear in oil-</p><p>wetted systems, ferrography is now firmly established</p><p>across a broad spectrum of Chinese industry in conjunction</p><p>with the development of modern maintenance management</p><p>technology. Arising from the achievement of good results</p><p>and associated economic benefits, the future of ferrography</p><p>in China is very encouraging.</p><p>References</p><p>[1] Liu Y, Xie YB. The revision to the concept of equilibrium</p><p>concentration of particle in lubrication. Proceedings of international</p><p>conference on condition monitoring. Beijing: National Defense</p><p>Industry Press; 1997. p. 6973.</p><p>[2] Yang Z, Cheng J. Application of debris group analysis theory in</p><p>failure prediction. Proceedings of international conference on</p><p>condition monitoring. Beijing: National Defense Industry Press;</p><p>1997. p. 749.</p><p>[3] Liu YB. Research on debris groupcharacteristic analysis method</p><p>used to describe wear condit...</p></li></ul>

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