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Calibration of the ultrasonic lubricant-film thickness measurement technique

Zhang, J., Drinkwater, B.W. and Dwyer-Joyce, R.S. (2005) Calibration of the ultrasonic lubricant-film thickness measurement technique. Measurement Science and Technology, 16 (9). pp. 1784-1791. ISSN 0957-0233

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This paper describes an experimental apparatus and procedure for the calibration of the ultrasonic lubricant-film thickness measurement technique. It also presents a study of the accuracy of the technique. The calibration apparatus is demonstrated on a three layer steel-mineral oil-steel system. This was chosen to be representative of a typical bearing system which is the industrial application of the technique. In such bearing systems the lubricant-film thickness typically ranges from 0.1 to 100 νm. The calibration apparatus uses a high precision piezoelectric displacement translator to controllably displace one of the steel surfaces relative to the other and hence alter the lubricant-film thickness by a known amount. Through-thickness resonant frequency measurements are then used to accurately measure a thick lubricant film (h > 10 νm). These resonant frequency measurements form the starting point of the calibration. The displacement translator is then used to reduce the lubricant-film thickness into the, more practically interesting, low micron range. In this range the amplitude of the measured reflection coefficient is used via a spring interface model to calculate the lubricant-film thickness. Issues of ultrasonic beam alignment and frequency of operation are discussed. A detailed study of the effect of reflection-coefficient errors on the resultant thickness measurement is presented. Practical guidelines for use of the calibration are then defined and calibration is demonstrated experimentally over the range 0.5-1.3 νm.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright (c) 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd. This is an author produced version of a paper published in ' Measurement Science and Technology'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Lubricant film Spring mode Thickness measurement Ultrasound Calibration Interfaces (materials) Lubricants Mathematical models Natural frequencies Thick films Ultrasonics Calibration apparatus Lubricant films Resonant frequency measurements film lubricant film thickness measurement method ultrasonic technique
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Department of Mechanical Engineering (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Christopher Hardwick
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2009 17:19
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2009 17:19
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0957-0233/16/9/010
Status: Published
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd
Identification Number: 10.1088/0957-0233/16/9/010
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9178

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