LaserNet Fines(R)C - Particle Counter and Particle Shape Classifier

LaserNet Fines® was developed by Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems in cooperation with the Naval Research Laboratory for the Office of Naval Research on its Accelerated Capabilities Initiative for Condition-Based Maintenance.

Machine condition monitoring based on oil analysis has become an accepted practice in any well run maintenance management program. With prior knowledge of the wear metals and contaminants present in a lubricating system, it may be determined if that equipment is operating properly or if preventive maintenance is required. LaserNet Fines® combines the standard oil analysis techniques of particle counting and shape classification into a single analytical instrument. Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems and Naval Research Laboratory combined space age imaging technology and neural net shape classification into the development of LaserNet Fines®.

LaserNet Fines® can be used as a stand-alone analytical instrument, or in conjunction with a full service oil analysis program.

Description

The LaserNet Fines®C (LNF-C) is a bench-top analytical tool that combines the oil analysis techniques of particle size analysis and particle counting in one instrument. The LNF-C analyzes hydraulic and lubricating oil samples from various types of equipment and machinery that are part of a machine condition-monitoring program. The monitoring is based primarily on the morphological analysis and the particle size distribution of the abnormal wear particles that are created from the internal components of the machine. The operator is presented with an assessment of particles found in the fluid sample and a history of previous results for the same equipment. LNF-C can be used as a stand-alone analytical instrument, or in conjunction with a full service oil analysis program.

As a particle size analyzer, the LNF provides the user with shape recognition of all particles greater than 20 µm by using a neural network. An algorithm sorts particles into the following categories: cutting, fatigue, severe sliding, nonmetallic and fibers. The shape recognition software also does a test for circularity so that bubbles and droplets greater than 20 µm are eliminated from the particle counting results.

As a particle counter, the LNF processes and stores thousands of images to obtain good counting statistics. Particles are sized directly and results can be displayed by ISO 4406 Code (>4µm, >6µm, and >14µm), or several military codes. The direct imaging capability of this instrument eliminates the need for calibration with a test dust. Air bubbles greater than 20µm are ignored and the laser is powerful enough to process heavily sooted (black) oils.

Analytical Test

The LNF-C system from Spectro Scientific can perform the following analytical tests:

  • Shape classification
  • Particle counting
  • Soot

Features and Benefits of the LaserNet Fines®C System

Some of the features and benefits of the LNF-C include:

  • Particle count is an indication of a fluid’s cleanliness.
  • Data outputs include particle type identification, image maps, size trends and ISO, NAS, and NAVAIR cleanliness codes.
  • Algorithms to perform shape analysis, wear particle identification and machine condition assessment.
  • Large particles are classed by a neural network as “cutting, fatigue, severe sliding, nonmetallic, free water droplets or fibers”.
  • Provides image maps of all particles greater than 20 µm.
  • Automatic adjustment for fluid darkness; sees through black diesel lubricating oils.
  • Built-in data-base for machine condition trending.
  • Magnification is set at factory. Recalibration is never required.

Spectro Scientific

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by AMETEK Spectro Scientific.

For more information on this source, please visit AMETEK Spectro Scientific.

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