Health Monitoring of Machinery Fluids Using Excitation-Emission Matrix Spectroscopy and Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy
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The quality of machinery liquids plays a critical role in ensuring safe and cost-effective operation of engines. Especially in the aviation industry, there is a great need for real-time and online monitoring of the purity, lubricity and age of machinery fluids. In this work, two optical techniques, excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMS) and cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS), are used for monitoring of degradation and contamination of aero-turbine lubricants and jet fuels using optical fiber probes. We implement EEMS combined with a modified fiber probe design to characterize lubricant quality through the characteristic fluorescence of antioxidant additives. Multi-way analysis procedures, such as parallel factor analysis, are applied to correlate spectral features to antioxidant concentration, oxidative stability, and lubricant age. The spectroscopic data are then correlated to commonly used, off-line parameters such as the induction time and the breakdown number. It is shown that the decrease in fluorescence intensities of antioxidants coincides with the decomposition of the oil base stock. The induction times of synthetic jet turbine oil degraded at 150ºC, 195ºC and 215ºC are found to be at about 10,000, 3,500 and 400 min respectively. Simple kinetic models are developed that are capable of describing antioxidant reactions as pseudo first-order processes. We also demonstrate that with fluorescence detection it is possible to determine the concentration of oil contamination in jet fuel from about 10 to 1000 ppmv. In addition, a fiber-loop cavity ring-down spectrometer has been developed to quantitatively identify oil contamination of jet fuel by measuring optical absorption in the UV region. CRDS is a very sensitive, path-enhanced absorption technique that may be used for trace-species measurements in gas and liquids. The absorption measurements on samples with small volumes are characterized by measuring the concentration of turbine oil in jet fuel from 100 000 ppmv to a limit of detection of 400 ppmv. In summary, the obtained results permit us to specify the life time of lubrication oil and to determine the contamination of jet fuel with turbine oil qualitatively and quantitatively. In a simple optical configuration the fiber-coupled EEM and CRD methods permit in situ sampling of the machinery fluids.