Fluid Power Journal

NFPA-Funded Research Project Underway to Develop Contaminant Sensor at Iowa State

nfpa college

Students at Iowa State University are working on a research project, Dielectric Spectroscopic Sensor Development for Hydraulic Fluid Contamination Detection, funded by the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation. The goal of the project is to develop a practical dielectric sensor for detecting contaminants in hydraulic fluids.

The sensor was designed and fabricated to be low-cost and capable of connecting inline. A hydraulic test circuit was built for the experiment, and multivariate technique was used to investigate efficiency of the sensor. The result showed that the dielectric sensor was able to detect different levels of iron and ISO test dust contamination in hydraulic fluid.

The dielectric sensor will benefit the fluid power industry by

  • providing a low-cost means for detecting fluid contaminants on vehicles during
  • operations,
  • eliminating the need for fluid sampling until a problem is detected,
  • detecting potential problems early before catastrophic failure, and
  • lowering maintenance cost and reducing downtime.
For more information on the Iowa State project, contact Sue Chase at schase@nfpa.com.


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