Advanced Bearing Technology for Large Engines

The objective of the "Advanced Bearing Technology for Large Engines" project, which is being carried out in cooperation with LEC (, is to develop new sensors for the online measurement of temperature and oil pressure in plain bearings. Application areas are research and development tasks in the field of combustion engines, but also the use for onboard measurement and assessment of bearing conditions, for example in marine applications, is planned. The new measuring system consists of the measured quantity acquisition, based on thin-film technology, and the data transfer with the help of a telemetry system in the case of moving components. Challenges for the sensor technology are the very high mechanical and thermal stress as well as the difficult application possibility. Figure 1 shows the sensor structure implemented on a plain bearing and the design of a thin-film sensor.  

Figure 1: Layer structure sensor sandwich and sensor structuring.

The achieved thickness of the whole sensor structure is less than 15µm and due to the used materials it is able to replace the necessary diffusion barrier layer. The advantages of this structure are the measurement almost at the desired location, no change of the running surface and the detectability in case of wear of the bearing.