Measurement of pressure fluctuations inside a model thrust bearing using PVDF sensors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thrust bearings play a vital role in propulsion systems. They rely on a thin layer of oil being trapped between rotating surfaces to produce a low friction interface. The “quality” of this bearing affects many things from noise transmission to the ultimate catastrophic failure of the bearing itself. As a result, the direct measure of the forces and vibrations within the oil filled interface would be very desirable and would give an indication of the condition of the bearing in situ. The thickness of the oil film is, however, very small and conventional vibration sensors are too cumbersome to use in this confined space. This paper solves this problem by using a piezoelectric polymer film made from Polyvinylidine Fluoride (PVDF). These films are very thin (50 µm) and flexible and easy to install in awkward spaces such as the inside of a thrust bearing. A model thrust bearing was constructed using a 3D printer and PVDF films inserted into the base of the bearing. In doing so, it was possible to directly measure the force fluctuations due to the rotating pads and investigate various properties of the thrust bearing itself.

Original languageEnglish
Article number878
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2017

Fingerprint

Bearings (structural)
thrust bearings
Thrust bearings
Fluorides
fluorides
Oils
Vibration
Pressure
oils
sensors
Sensors
Confined Spaces
3D printers
Friction
Bearing pads
vibration
printers
Noise
Polymers
propulsion

Cite this

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title = "Measurement of pressure fluctuations inside a model thrust bearing using PVDF sensors",
abstract = "Thrust bearings play a vital role in propulsion systems. They rely on a thin layer of oil being trapped between rotating surfaces to produce a low friction interface. The “quality” of this bearing affects many things from noise transmission to the ultimate catastrophic failure of the bearing itself. As a result, the direct measure of the forces and vibrations within the oil filled interface would be very desirable and would give an indication of the condition of the bearing in situ. The thickness of the oil film is, however, very small and conventional vibration sensors are too cumbersome to use in this confined space. This paper solves this problem by using a piezoelectric polymer film made from Polyvinylidine Fluoride (PVDF). These films are very thin (50 µm) and flexible and easy to install in awkward spaces such as the inside of a thrust bearing. A model thrust bearing was constructed using a 3D printer and PVDF films inserted into the base of the bearing. In doing so, it was possible to directly measure the force fluctuations due to the rotating pads and investigate various properties of the thrust bearing itself.",
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Measurement of pressure fluctuations inside a model thrust bearing using PVDF sensors. / Youssef, Andrew; Matthews, David; Guzzomi, Andrew; Pan, Jie.

In: Sensors (Switzerland), Vol. 17, No. 4, 878, 16.04.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Youssef, Andrew

AU - Matthews, David

AU - Guzzomi, Andrew

AU - Pan, Jie

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AB - Thrust bearings play a vital role in propulsion systems. They rely on a thin layer of oil being trapped between rotating surfaces to produce a low friction interface. The “quality” of this bearing affects many things from noise transmission to the ultimate catastrophic failure of the bearing itself. As a result, the direct measure of the forces and vibrations within the oil filled interface would be very desirable and would give an indication of the condition of the bearing in situ. The thickness of the oil film is, however, very small and conventional vibration sensors are too cumbersome to use in this confined space. This paper solves this problem by using a piezoelectric polymer film made from Polyvinylidine Fluoride (PVDF). These films are very thin (50 µm) and flexible and easy to install in awkward spaces such as the inside of a thrust bearing. A model thrust bearing was constructed using a 3D printer and PVDF films inserted into the base of the bearing. In doing so, it was possible to directly measure the force fluctuations due to the rotating pads and investigate various properties of the thrust bearing itself.

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