Open Cut

Online Monitoring of Wear and Lubrication Oil Contamination Using a Novel Detector - Field Trials

Open Cut » Maintenance & Equipment

Published: November 08Project Number: C12037

Get ReportAuthor: Shenggen Hu, Robert Dixon, Ian Hutchinson, Adrian Burger | CSIRO Energy Technology

Reliable monitoring of the effectiveness of working lubrication oils and the condition of lubricant wetted components is crucial to preventing oil related failures of mining equipment.  However, current diagnostic tests based on Scheduled Oil Sampling and used oil analysis cannot promptly detect a rapidly progressing component failure or a sudden ingestion of oil contaminants, as well as predicting oil degradation ahead of time.  Moreover, it can be wasteful to change oil before it becomes necessary, and the service schedule recommended by equipment manufacturers may not be suitable to specific operating conditions that shorten the oil life.  Therefore, there is a strong need for an effective on-board detector for monitoring the effectiveness of lubrication oils and the conditions of lubricant wetted components.

In the proof of concept stage (project 9037), an on-board detector was developed and tested with over 400 used oil samples with known contamination and degradation levels.  The objective of project C12037 was to carry out field trials of the oil detector, via:

· Development of a robust oil detector assembly;

· Development of EIS spectrometer with the capability of measuring high impedance in the frequency range of 1 Hz to 1MHz; and

· Development of improved approaches and automated procedures for data analysis.

Development of Oil Detector System

This project has developed a robust oil detector assembly which includes a rugged design of the electrode chamber and an electromagnet with heat dissipation.

Since there was no suitable electrical impedance spectrometer commercially available, design and construction of an on-board EIS spectrometer became the major task.  Achieving the specifications required for on-board filed trials proved to be a very significant challenge.  Due to the complexity of the circuitry design of an impedance spectrometer, establishing the final design of the circuitry became the major challenge.

A CSIRO EIS spectrometer has been successfully developed.  The EIS spectrometer is able to measure the high electrical impedance of engine oil over the frequency range of 1Hz to 1MHz.  The spectrometer has the facilities to store and transfer data, and to switch between two sets of different electrodes, and also an internal calibration circuit verifying correct instrument operation in the field.  

Based on pattern recognition and algorithms, procedures for EIS data analysis have been developed, in which oil contamination and degradation are determined from EIS spectrum characteristics.  The algorithms and procedures have been incorporated into a computer program which can automatically detect oil change and oil/additives top-up, water/coolant contamination, excessive fuel contamination, excessive level of soot and sulfur products and oxidation degree.  The automated procedure can provide information on the remaining oil life and valid recommendations to maintenance people regarding oil change-out requirements and other actions.

Field trials

Field trials of the CSIRO oil detector system were carried out on a Caterpillar 784 series coal hauler at a Bowen Basin mine site for a period of more than 8 weeks.  It has been demonstrated that the oil detector system can provide satisfactory measurements of the EIS spectrum of the oil.  Predictions of oil oxidation and intermediate level of soot/sulfur product contamination from EIS could be linked with those determined from SOS oil analysis over two oil changes.  The determination of oxidation degree from EIS at the end of "oil burner" stage also matched the result from SOS analysis.  Due to a limited period of time, contaminations by water, coolant, fuel, excessive level of soot and ferrous wear particles were not observed.  Events of oil change and top-up with oil/additives were correctly detected.  The prediction of the remaining oil life (ROL) in one case based on a redefined condemnation limit was comparable to that determined by SOS oil analysis.

The whole oil condition monitoring system has passed robustness testing in laboratory under conditions of oil temperature up to 1000C, a hydraulic pressure of 250 PSI (3 times expected pressure of field equipment) and a vibration intensity of 3g, and survived in field trials in a period of 2 months.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C26059Proof Of Concept Of The Electronic Spark Test Apparatus On Existing Known Power Supplies

This project continued a long running research program into an elect...

C26070Industrialisation Of Proof Of Concept Wall-Flow DOC + Filter System

The need to protect workers from diesel particulate matter (DPM) had...

C25001Ventilation And Gas Management - Underground Coal Mines

This planning guideline has been prepared to assist mine operators t...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C26034Coking Properties Deterioration In Small Samples

Accurate evaluation of coking coal parameters at the exploration sta...

C23029Alternative And Sustainable Explosive Formulations To Eliminate Nitrogen Oxide Emissions

This technical report describes the technology of a novel mining exp...

C25005Site Based Trials Of Alternative Explosive Formulations To Eliminate Nitrogen Oxide Emissions

This report documents the outcomes of Phase 3 of this project and b...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26009Improved Precision Of Determining Coal In Urban Dust

Dust samples collected in coastal locations using High Volume Air Sa...

C26015Novel Characterisation Of Coal Petrography For Improving The Dewatering Of Fine Coals Using Chemicals

This project aimed to develop alternatives to existing mechanical de...

C26014Low Cost Online Measurement Of Particle Size And Density For Diagnostics Across The Fine Coal Circuit

This project has developed a novel prototype optical system for prof...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26045Mineralogy Effects On The 3D Porosity Evolution Of Coke And Coke Reactivity

CRI/CSR CO2 combustion data are key metrics of coke quality and perf...

C25049Fusibility Of Coal Blends And Minerals In Coking

The CSIRO optical reflected light imaging CGA (Coal Grain Analysis) ...

C25045Stage Two - Assessment Of In Situ High-Temperature Strength Of Cokes

Stage I of this project established a reliable and repeatable proces...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

C24061Proof-Of-Concept Photocatalytic Destruction Of Methane For Coal Mining Fugitive Emissions Abatement

Australia's fugitive emissions in 2015 were 41 Mt CO2-e (representin...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook