15 May 2014 Monitoring of the molecular structure of lubricant oil using a FT-Raman spectrometer prototype
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Abstract
The determination of the physical state of the lubricant materials in complex mechanical systems is highly critical from different points of view: operative, economical, environmental, etc. Furthermore, there are several parameters that a lubricant oil must meet for a proper performance inside a machine. The monitoring of these lubricants can represent a serious issue depending on the analytical approach applied. The molecular change of aging lubricant oils have been analyzed using an all-standard-components and self-designed FT-Raman spectrometer. This analytical tool allows the direct and clean study of the vibrational changes in the molecular structure of the oils without having direct contact with the samples and without extracting the sample from the machine in operation. The FT-Raman spectrometer prototype used in the analysis of the oil samples consist of a Michelson interferometer and a self-designed photon counter cooled down on a Peltier element arrangement. The light coupling has been accomplished by using a conventional 62.5/125μm multi-mode fiber coupler. The FT-Raman arrangement has been able to extract high resolution and frequency precise Raman spectra, comparable to those obtained with commercial FT-Raman systems, from the lubricant oil samples analyzed. The spectral information has helped to determine certain molecular changes in the initial phases of wearing of the oil samples. The proposed instrument prototype has no additional complex hardware components or costly software modules. The mechanical and thermal irregularities influencing the FT-Raman spectrometer have been removed mathematically by accurately evaluating the optical path difference of the Michelson interferometer. This has been achieved by producing an additional interference pattern signal with a λ= 632.8 nm helium-neon laser, which differs from the conventional zero-crossing sampling (also known as Connes advantage) commonly used by FT-devices. It enables the FT-Raman system to perform reliable and clean spectral measurements from the analyzed oil samples.
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Valentin Ortega Clavero, Andreas Weber, Werner Schröder, Dan Curticapean, Nicolas Javahiraly, Patrick Meyrueis, "Monitoring of the molecular structure of lubricant oil using a FT-Raman spectrometer prototype", Proc. SPIE 9141, Optical Sensing and Detection III, 91411W (15 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2051617; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2051617
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