Wear particle analysis identifies specific parts that are failing by wear – potentially, before they fail – in lubrication systems, hydraulics, heat exchangers, and fluid product processing. This analysis can be performed while the effected systems are still in service. Once the failing part or group of parts are identified replacement can often be coordinated to minimize down time, depending on the rate of wear.
Abrasive wear, adhesive wear, erosion, fretting and cavitation often occur over an extended period of time. Wear particle analysis identifies the alloy group or material type of the particles generated by wear, the number of particles of each alloy or material type, their size, and their shape. Using this data, specific parts or components that are wearing more rapidly than predicted, can be identified. Particles ranging in size from millimeters to microns can be identified and characterized.
Both metallic and non-metallic wear particles are characterized. As a result, failing organic components such as polymer or elastomer seals can be identified, as well as wear failures in metal parts such as bearings, bushings, pistons, cylinders and any other part functioning in relative movement to another.
Wear particle analysis can also confirm that no unexpected wear is occurring and the system is operating efficiently. Analyses at defined intervals are also an effective tool for monitoring the long term performance of optimized systems and machines.
MAI engineers will provide the guidance needed to collect samples for wear particle analysis from systems in the field or pre-production development test programs. Please call or email to discuss your requirements and sample collection from your system.