Presenting the all-new “E-Lub Tester” for electric analysis of bearings and lubricants.
Based on previous knowledge of the technology of our EPSILON+ laboratory system, our team has designed a novel measurement and test setup for the four-ball tester (FBT), which can be used to investigate the behavior of electrically loaded rolling bearings.
In addition to the impedance, the E-Lub Tester is to be used to investigate the damaging breakdown currents and, in the future, to enable a statement to be made on the lubrication gap height or the lubrication condition in the bearing under certain load conditions without having to resort to the known model calculations for this purpose.
In cooperation with the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, a prototype (Bechev 2020) was further developed and qualified for industrial applications as part of a ZIM-funded R&D project. All of the required measurements were automated as far as possible.
The E-Lub Tester is used to test oils and greases used in rolling bearings. Using the 51208 axial deep groove ball bearing, a lubricant can be analyzed as a function of variable process conditions (temperature, speed, mechanical load, electrical voltage, operating hours).
A special adapter was created for this purpose, which enables the test specimen to be installed in the four-ball apparatus (usually type Hansa VKA-110).
Main features of E-Lub Tester
The E-Lub Tester can be used to determine the bearing impedance. This results from the ohmic and capacitive behavior of a lubricant in the relevant frequency spectrum (100 Hz to 10 MHz).
The FBT allows a test bearing to be operated at different speeds and weighted variably by load arm weights. Thanks to an additional thermostat, the E-Lub Tester can be used to control the temperature of the bearing lubricant in order to carry out automated and comparable tests in a wide range of applications.
The passage of breakdown currents in the bearing can also be examined with the E-Lub Tester. The so-called EDM (Electric Discharge Machining) currents, so spontaneous but strong discharge currents in the lubrication gap, can occur under the application of electric fields and can damage both the lubricant and the running surfaces of the rolling bearing.
Intuitive software for measurements according to standardized procedures
The E-Lub Tester essentially consists of three components: the FBT adapter for mounting the rolling bearing, the control cabinet with the measurement electronics and the PC with the comprehensive software for automated tests under freely definable boundary conditions.
Work is already underway on a test specification as part of the DIN AA 653 preliminary study.
flucon’s innovation – qualified for many applications
The E-Lub Tester with its completely new test spectrum is suitable for numerous fields of application, e.g.:
- lubricant development,
- bearing development,
- development of electric drives,
- railroad, wind turbine and gearbox technology.