2 June 2017 Characterization of oscillator circuits for monitoring the density-viscosity of liquids by means of piezoelectric MEMS microresonators
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Real-time monitoring of the physical properties of liquids, such as lubricants, is a very important issue for the automotive industry. For example, contamination of lubricating oil by diesel soot has a significant impact on engine wear. Resonant microstructures are regarded as a precise and compact solution for tracking the viscosity and density of lubricant oils. In this work, we report a piezoelectric resonator, designed to resonate with the 4th order out-of-plane modal vibration, 15-mode, and the interface circuit and calibration process for the monitoring of oil dilution with diesel fuel.

In order to determine the resonance parameters of interest, i.e. resonant frequency and quality factor, an interface circuit was implemented and included within a closed-loop scheme. Two types of oscillator circuits were tested, a Phase-Locked Loop based on instrumentation, and a more compact version based on discrete electronics, showing similar resolution. Another objective of this work is the assessment of a calibration method for piezoelectric MEMS resonators in simultaneous density and viscosity sensing. An advanced calibration model, based on a Taylor series of the hydrodynamic function, was established as a suitable method for determining the density and viscosity with the lowest calibration error.

Our results demonstrate the performance of the resonator in different oil samples with viscosities up to 90 mPa•s. At the highest value, the quality factor measured at 25°C was around 22. The best resolution obtained was 2.4•10-6 g/ml for the density and 2.7•10-3 mPa•s for the viscosity, in pure lubricant oil SAE 0W30 at 90°C. Furthermore, the estimated density and viscosity values with the MEMS resonator were compared to those obtained with a commercial density-viscosity meter, reaching a mean calibration error in the best scenario of around 0.08% for the density and 3.8% for the viscosity.
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J. Toledo, J. Toledo, V. Ruiz-Díez, V. Ruiz-Díez, G. Pfusterschmied, G. Pfusterschmied, U. Schmid, U. Schmid, J. L. Sánchez-Rojas, J. L. Sánchez-Rojas, } "Characterization of oscillator circuits for monitoring the density-viscosity of liquids by means of piezoelectric MEMS microresonators", Proc. SPIE 10246, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VIII, 102461I (2 June 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2266497; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2266497

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