A simple and inexpensive technique for measurement of electrical capacitance for online condition monitoring of ball bearings

Surendra Pal Singh Matharu


The condition monitoring of rolling element bearing is essential when used at critical places such as in area of high temperature, large dynamic loads, high pressure, dusty or corrosive environment, etc. The major methods used for online condition monitoring of Rolling Element Bearings are Vibration Signature Analysis, measurement by Acoustic Emission, measurement of lubricant film thickness by use of Ultrasound Transducer and by use of Strain Gages, etc. The existing methods either employ major changes in setup or are expensive or used after some wear has set in the bearing. This paper presents a simple electrical circuit which along with instruments is inexpensive, convenient to use and capable to measure capacitance of rolling element bearings. The bearing capacitance is related to the thickness of lubricant in bearing and hence can be monitored continuously. The method thus can be used for online condition monitoring.


capacitance, condition monitoring, electrical circuit, lubricant film thickness, rolling element bearing.

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