Combustion Engines
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Combustion Engines

Tribosonics have a number of measurement and monitoring technologies that are applicable to combustion engines of all sizes. Some of the main applications have been highlighted below. We can carry out the measurements on a consultancy service basis or we can provide the equipment so the measurements can be carried out in the lab or in the field.

Lubricant Film Thickness Measurement of Journal Bearings - Main and Big End

Journal bearing lubricant film measurements can be carried out from either sensors mounted behind the bearing shell or from shaft mounted sensors. Measurements can be taken up to 100kHz resulting in a high resolution lubricant film profile output.

Measurements from behind the bearing shell result in single point measurement per sensor; there is no limit to how many micro sensors (0.8mm x 0.8mm x 0.5mm) can be mounted on the rear surface of the bearing shell. To facilitate the micro sensors, either the bearing shell or the housing (end cap/con-rod) requires some minor modification.

Sensors can also be mounted in the shaft resulting in a full 360° swept profile. There are numerous ways to mount the sensors in the shaft. One popular way is to drill a small hole and press fit the sensor into the shaft with the 0.4mm cable ejecting out of a central bore.

main bearing and big end bearing lubricant film thickness measurement

Lubricant Film Thickness Measurement of Piston Rings

Sensors can be mounted on the external liner wall and measure the lubricant film as the piston ring passes. This can be done in real-time and piston ring lubricant film information can be output for instantanious parameter adjustment. With larger engines, it is possible to mount the micro-sensors on the rear surface of the ring resutling in a full film thickness profile.

Piston Ring Liner Lubricant Film Thickness Measurement

Head Bolt Load, Relaxation and Dynamic Loading During Operation

Ultrasound can be used to measure stress and load in almost any structural component. Through the use of embedded sensors sending sound waves through a component, the component itself becomes a load cell. This is a low cost solution that requires little or no modification to the part and the sensors can often be retrofitted.

This technology is commonly used to accurately measure pre-load of head bolts and there are a number of companies offering products to do exactly this. Tribosonics use permanently installed systems to monitor bolt load during installation, but then to continue to monitor during running and can provide a measurement of both bolt relaxation and cylinder pressure. Dyamic stresses and loads can be measured at a rate of 100kHz, enabling the measurement of spike loads and the early detection of engine knock. 

Dynamic Head Bolt Load Monitoring

Bespoke Monitoring Solutions

Tribosonics Ltd have considerable experience in developing novel sensing and monitoring systems from concept through to product. We often work with our customer in a strategic capacity delivering custom solutions to their measurement needs.

Our in-house expertise in sensing technologies (including ultrasonics, temperature, pressure), electronics design and manufacture, mechanical design and manufacture and software design and programming and product development mean we can quickly turn ideas into monitoring products.

We often describe ourselves as a company with solutions looking for problems, so contact us to see how we can help you.