In order to verify the air content in hydraulic fluid, an instrument was needed to measure the dissolved air content before the fluid was loaded into the system. The instrument also needed to measure the dissolved air content in situ and in real time during the de-aeration process. The current methods used to measure the dissolved air content require the fluid to be drawn from the hydraulic system, and additional offline laboratory processing time is involved. During laboratory processing, there is a potential for contamination to occur, especially when sub-saturated fluid is to be analyzed.
A new method measures the amount of dissolved air in hydraulic fluid through the use of a dissolved oxygen meter. The device measures the dissolved air content through an in situ, real-time process that requires no additional offline laboratory processing time. The method utilizes an instrument that measures the partial pressure of oxygen in the hydraulic fluid. By using a standardized calculation procedure that relates the oxygen partial pressure to the volume of dissolved air in solution, the dissolved air content is estimated.
The technique employs luminescent quenching technology to determine the partial pressure of oxygen in the hydraulic fluid. An estimated Henry’s law coefficient for oxygen and nitrogen in hydraulic fluid is calculated using a standard method to estimate the solubility of gases in lubricants. The amount of dissolved oxygen in the hydraulic fluid is estimated using the Henry’s solubility coefficient and the measured partial pressure of oxygen in solution. The amount of dissolved nitrogen that is in solution is estimated by assuming that the ratio of dissolved nitrogen to dissolved oxygen is equal to the ratio of the gas solubility of nitrogen to oxygen at atmospheric pressure and temperature. The technique was performed at atmospheric pressure and room temperature. The technique could be theoretically carried out at higher pressures and elevated temperatures.
This work was done by Daniel M. Hauser of Glenn Research Center.
Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steven Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. Refer to LEW-18621-1.