Q5800 - A Comprehensive Solution for Expeditionary `On The Move` Oil Analysis
Introduction - Understanding Q5800 Technologies
The Q5800 is comprised of the following three major components:
- Filtration Particle Quantifier (FPQ) Tower — provides abnormal wear metal analysis using XRF technology and particle counting
- Kinematic Viscometer at 40°C — provides solvent-free measurements of a lubricant's kinematic viscosity
- Infrared Spectrometer with Flip-Top Cell — provides tests for TAN/TBN. water content, soot, oxidation and mixed up fluids using infrared technology
Principle of Operation
This section provides the basic operating principles of the Q5800 device by component.
Filtration Particle Quantifier (FPQ)Tower
Machine condition has traditionally been measured using spectrometric techniques such as RDE or ICP spectroscopy. Wear debris analysis using Ferrography is performed to establish the root cause of a wear problem. This is done using an expert with high powered microscopes and wear particle morphology techniques to assess different wear types and mechanisms in the lubrication system. More recently.direct imaging particle counting using LaserNet Fines* has proven to be a very effective screening technique for Ferrography. Contamination control in very clean systems such as hydraulics continues to be undertaken by traditional, light blocking, optical particle counting techniques.
For a portable device such as the Q5800. none of these methods prove suitable. They are either too big. too power hungry, require too much solvent or are simply too sample preparation intensive.
The Q5800 uses a new combination of particle filtration and XRF to assess machine condition by tying the particle count and elemental wear metal distribution in the sample together. It is able to do this for a wide range of used oil applications that vary in particle concentration without the need for solvents and using only 3ml of oil.
The Filtration Particle Quantifier FPQ is a patent pending device able to obtain an accurate particle count for a given filter size. It does this by measuring the pressure rise across the filter as the pores become blocked with particles. Unlike traditional "pore blockage" technology, it has a particle measuring range from 2.500 to 1.500.000 p/ml. It is able to achieve this range by using its unique, dual dynamic patented filter design that eliminates saturation of the filter and allows for further quantification of particles in the caking region. The device is impervious to soot from diesel engines and water contamination which in optical particle counting can often skew results and cause confusion.
The device ensures that the particles deposited on the filter reach a maximum level for a given shut off pressure. This pressure is set below the caking region of the filter where "particle swapping" occurs. This ensures that a correct particle deposition and oil volume can be obtained for subsequent XRF analyses. Once the particle count is complete, the filter slide is transferred to the XRF for analysis where the elemental breakdown of the sample is quantified. This is where the root cause of the failure can be identified and is akin to Ferrography analysis.
Figure 2 shows the tower which encompasses the FPQ and XRF device in the overall oil monitor system. The figure also shows the filter being inserted into the XRF. This relatively quick process can screen out samples with high particle counts and perform a complete 13 element XRF analysis on the resultant sample filter.
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