Bearing condition monitoring : An investigation on the possibility of monitoring aging of the lubricating grease by means of acoustic emission and temperature.

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik

Abstract: Grease is among the most widely used lubricants in rolling element bearings. Proper understanding of the effect of lubrication due to grease aging can provide a significant increase in the life of the engineering systems. However, at present, there is no sufficient understanding of the grease aging effect in rolling elements bearing. This restricts the optimal usage of the bearing and timely monitoring of the grease. The current research work tries to address this issue with an experimental investigation. This project studies the behavior of 4 types of greases in rolling elements bearings for various operating conditions by recording the temperature and acoustic emission data. The aged samples were prepared to keep in the oven at 150 °C for a series of time duration letting it go through the chemical changes and thermal degradation. Tests were carried out in a test rig with the different levels of oxidized greases for 5 hrs time. And the effects in bearing temperature, acoustic emission were recorded. This is an investigation to analyze the effects of grease composition and aging in rolling elements lubrication by means of acoustic emission and bearing temperature. The IR spectroscopy was carried from the samples collected from the oven in order to understand the change in lubricant composition. The results show that the grease with di-urea thickener and base oil of synthetic ether and polyolester gives the best bearing temperature and acoustic emission behavior compared to the other grease type. The possibility of using the acoustic emission and temperature data to monitor the grease aging is also presented. Along with this, the possibility of using the AE statistical methods, AE count method, and energy plot were also explored to relate with the degree of aging.

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