Early Detection and Prevention of Catastrophic Failures of Industrial Engines

Dashchinskiy, Mikhail (2017) Early Detection and Prevention of Catastrophic Failures of Industrial Engines. [USQ Project]

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Nowadays, there is a tendency to operate some industrial machinery remotely, such as generator sets, gas pumps, and emergency equipment. It is often impossible to directly interfere with the operation of the equipment in the case of unexpected malfunctions. Premature and abrupt failure of the crankshaft bearings in an industrial engine can consequently lead to catastrophic damage. This project designed and tested an inexpensive system that would detect failure of the crankshaft bearings and provide a quick response.

Based on the extensive literature review and the author's experience, it was decided that the proposed device comprised oil debris monitoring and vibration acquisition processing systems. The rise in pressure across the filtering element was set to indicate the presence of bearing particles in the engine oil, which would trigger a warning. The parameters of the vibration signal, such as spectrogram, Root Mean Square (RMS), and Crest Factor, were selected to monitor changes to the vibration profile associated with the fault conditions. The Matlab Graphical User Interface (GUI) performed the signal processing and displayed all necessary outputs. It also allowed the data recording and data replay options.

The system was tested on a six-cylinder petrol engine with artificially induced failure of one of the crankshaft bearings. The experiments failed to instigate rapid and catastrophic bearing failure due to no load being applied to the engine. Nevertheless, the partial bearing degradation and debris generation were achieved during the test runs.

The outcomes showed that the spectrogram and the RMS of the signal provided some response to the progressing failure. The spectrogram revealed the change in magnitudes of the main harmonic orders and the RMS value. For instance, the first harmonic order became dominant and the RMS behaved erratically. Normally, the third harmonic is the most prominent, and the RMS is proportional to the engine revolutions per minute (RPM). Moreover, the debris detection system caught some of the particles generated by the failing bearing. The debris blocked the filtering element, which caused the pressure to rise across the mesh. At this stage, the system is in its conceptual form. The full functionality, such as the ability to stop the engine based on the threshold parameters, has not been programmed. The thresholds are still to be properly determined and confirmed by a series of experiments.

Further work is required to check the validity of the first experiments. Additional experiments will need to be performed on the engine whilst mounted to a load cell. Applying the load will allow simulation of the real working condition of the equipment. Future development of the system will require designing a black box solution based on a microcomputer, such Raspberry Pi or similar.

The project acknowledges that the system might be unable to prevent subsequent damage to the components. The primary purpose of the system is to save other components and reduce the repair cost.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Malpress, Ray
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 03:11
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2023 01:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: industrial engines; early detection; catastrophic failures
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/40823

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