SpectroLNF Q200 Particle Shape Classifier, Particle Counter and Dynamic Viscometer from Spectro Inc.

The New Generation LaserNet Fines®C (LNF-C) SpectroLNF Q200 is a bench-top analytical tool that combines the oil analysis techniques of particle size analysis, particle counting and dynamic viscosity in one instrument.

The SpectroLNF Q200 analyzes hydraulic and lubricating oil samples from various types of equipment and machinery that are part of a machine condition-monitoring program. The monitoring is based primarily on the morphological analysis and the particle size distribution of the abnormal wear particles that are created from the internal components of the machine. The operator is presented with an assessment of particles found in the fluid sample and a history of previous results for the same equipment. The SpectroLNF Q200 can be used as a stand-alone analytical instrument, or in conjunction with a full service oil analysis program.

As a particle size analyzer, the SpectroLNF Q200 provides the user with shape recognition of all particles greater than 20 µm by using a neural network. An algorithm sorts particles into the following categories: cutting, fatigue, severe sliding, non-metallic and fibers. The shape recognition software also does a test for circularity so that bubbles and droplets greater than 20 µm are eliminated from the particle counting results.

As a particle counter, the SpectroLNF Q200 processes and stores thousands of images to obtain good counting statistics. Particles are sized directly and results can be displayed by ISO 4406 Code (>4µm, >6µm, and >14µm), or several military codes. The direct imaging capability of this instrument eliminates the need for calibration with a test dust. Air bubbles greater than 20µm are ignored and the laser is powerful enough to process heavily sooted (black) oils.

As a viscometer, the SpectroLNF Q200 provides dynamic viscosity of the sample, if desired, at the same time as it performs particle count and particle classification. Dynamic viscosity measurements are reported in Centipoise (cP) at 40°C. Typical processing time is 2 - 6 minutes per sample for a viscosity range from ISO 15 to ISO 320 grade. The viscosity capability is measured using flow rates and pressure drop across the unique flow cell. This measurement does not require calibration, but the SpectroLNF Q200 performance can be periodically verified with a certified viscosity standard.

Analytical Tests

The SpectroLNF Q200 performs the following tests:

  • Shape classification
  • Particle counting
  • % Soot
  • Free Water Contamination
  • Dynamic Viscosity

Features and Benefits

features and benefits of using the SpectroLNF Q200 include:

  • Particle count is an indication of a fluid’s cleanliness
  • Data outputs include particle type identification, image maps, size trends and ISO, NAS, and NAVAIR cleanliness codes
  • Algorithms to perform shape analysis, wear particle identification and machine condition assessment
  • Large particles are classed by a neural network as “cutting, fatigue, severe sliding, nonmetallic, free water droplets or fibers”
  • Provides image maps of all particles greater than 20 µm
  • Handles fluid up to ISO 320 grade oil without sample dilution
  • Automatic adjustment for fluid darkness; sees through black diesel lubricating oils.
  • Built-in data-base for machine condition trending
  • Magnification is set at factory. Recalibration is never required
  • Reports dynamic viscosity
  • Reports soot (%) and free water (ppm)
  • Provides automatic alarms
  • Complies to NEW ASTM D7596 Standard

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