Advanced eddy current probe and driver
12 March 2008
Monitran has launched the T3, a Turbo-machinery Tip-Timing sensor and driver.
Developed in conjunction with QinetiQ, the T3 is an eddy current probe combined with an advanced triple-output driver. It provides information on blade health, and is of particular benefit to those manufacturing or maintaining gas turbines, helicopters and aero engines. Whilst primarily designed for monitoring the health of turbine blades, the technology will be applicable in a wide range of other situations, such as detecting cracks and breaks in gear teeth and twist and eccentricity in shafts.
Donald Lyon, MD of Monitran, commented: "The T3 has been proven to perform as well as optical systems, but is effectively immune from contamination. It is therefore a highly cost-effective alternative to these systems, which require periodic cleaning. This is particularly important in aerospace applications, where optical sensors can be seriously compromised by bird strikes for instance. This is when you most want your sensors to perform, but it's when the optical version is most likely to fail. That can't happen with the T3."
The T3 driver unit has an anodised aluminium enclosure, weighs 0.2kg and measures 62.5 x 29.5 x 78.8mm. It produces a 5V trigger and generates three outputs: processed blade tip pulse arrival time, scaled blade tip clearance and raw eddy current analogue signal.
The standard eddy current probe is 12mm in diameter with a mounting flange diameter of 25mm. The overall height of the probe is 16.5mm, of which the mounting flange occupies 8mm. The probe comes fitted with a 10m cable as standard, which can be either armoured or non-armoured. Other probe dimensions and cable lengths are available on request.
The operating temperature range is -20 to 85ºC for the driver and -20 to 250ºC (continuous) or -20 to 300ºC (intermittent) for the probe.
Lyon concluded: "The T3 sensor was designed, with QinetiQ, to operate in particularly harsh environments, whilst providing accurate information about the condition of turbine-machinery blades and other rotating components. This performance, along with its low-maintenance profile, makes the T3 an extremely attractive alternative to optical systems."
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