Lubricant quality is critical for the performance and efficiency of internal combustion and industrial engines. Over the years, significant amount of efforts have been made in developing robust oil sensors that can accurately monitor oil degradation in real time to save the consumption of oils and reduce their impact on the environment. Although a number of compact sensors have been developed, they are limited to oil physical and electrical property measurements such as viscosity and Tan-delta dielectric sensors. It is desirable to monitor the content of acidic species in oils since it is the true measurements of oil oxidation, which is the main oil degradation process.
Thick-film sensors have been successfully developed to monitor aqueous solution pH changes, where hydrogen ions in water solutions can be accurately detected. As a totally different concept, a recent PhD study at nCATS has investigated the feasibility of thick-film sensor detecting oil acidity. This is because oil is a completely different medium to water-based solution. Extensive experimental results have shown that thick-film sensors can respond to oil acidity changes, where linear correlations between the oil acidity number and sensor outputs are found. This study will further investigate the interactive mechanisms between thick film electrodes and oil chemistry, to further develop thick-film electrodes into robust oil acidity sensors for a wide range of engines.
The PhD is sponsored by EPSRC and Gill Research & Development Limited. Shell Global Solutions will support the project by providing controlled oil samples that can simulate engine oil degradation stages and enable sensor evaluation.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Ling Wang, nCATS research group, Email: [email protected]
, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 5076.
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