Moving components generate particulates via physical or chemical breakdown, such as abrasive wear. These particles, typically 20-100 microns in size, can originate from sources like seals, rotors or heat-induced degradation adjacent fluids (lubricant, fuel, etc.). Characterization of the particulates is a critical step in both the determination of their origin and in remediation.
The simplest analytical method involves filtration followed by examination using visible microscopy. Extending this to include microspectroscopy, such as FTIR microscopy, enables the identification of the materials, greatly improving the diagnostic power of the analysis. We will present the use of a simple FTIR microscope for the identification of particles from automotive sources to show the utility of this method for rapid analysis.
Michael Bradley, Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Product Applications
FTIR, FTIR Microscopy, Raman and NIR
Thermo Fisher Scientific