Reliable, Insightful Data to Understand Your Process
As tolerances become tighter, it becomes necessary to understand the microscopic character of your materials and processes. Whether you choose one of our manual microanalysis systems or one of our computer-automated systems, you will discover that our systems produce reliable, reproducible, and consistent results.
The motivation for understanding particle distributions in automotive mechanisms is a matter of considerable variability. From the standpoint of the production engineer concerned with reducing warranty costs, the most important concern might be establishing the cleanliness of components prior to assembly. From the standpoint of the design engineer concerned with improving the reliability of the mechanism, the most important concern might be understanding particle distributions for purposes of desensitizing the susceptibility of the mechanism. From the standpoint of predictive maintenance analysis, the most interesting aspect may be the ability to diagnose the internal state of the mechanism via the particles that it produces, thereby providing an early-warning mechanism for incipient failure.
Particles found in automotive mechanisms may be either intrinsic – derived from the materials employed in the mechanism itself, or extrinsic – foreign materials introduced into the mechanism from external sources. Intrinsic particles originate in several ways;
- Fragments of the mechanism material left by the manufacturing process
- Decomposition or erosion of friable components or structures (e.g., residual machining burrs)
- Wear debris particles produced by friction within the operating mechanism
Similarly, there are many different sources of extrinsic particles, including:
- Manufacturing residue from fabrication tools or processes
- Lubricant contaminants
- Materials ingested from the environment
In order to understand these problems and implement new quality control measures, engineers must first determine their Baseline contamination levels and determine where the contamination is coming from. The major advantage of the AQCTM is that with the elemental composition you are able to determine the Source ID of all contaminants in the process. Ultimately, the goal is to provide new specifications for cleanliness on the manufacturing floor. Typically, these are given as shown in the figure below: