Wear Debris Characterization

Monitor wear debris contamination by detecting the particle size, shape, and elemental composition

The ability to monitor wear debris contamination in oils and other fluids can result in longer and more efficient engine function.  The Aspex Product Group from FEI offers wear debris solutions that allow you to evaluate size, shape, and elemental composition of each particle in an entire sample, so that you can pinpoint the exact source of your engine wear issues. Careful monitoring of engine wear long term can help to predict bearing failure or even a larger engine failure which would ultimately result in lower operating costs and better efficiency for engine operation.

Contamination Challenges

Understanding and identifying the principles of friction, lubrication and wear in engines, turbine and gear boxes is a main focus and concern for Mechanical Engineers and Material Scientists alike.  As components have been reduced in size, and design tolerances have been tightened, controlling the cleanliness of the manufacturing process has become an important factor in meeting performance specifications and controlling warranty costs.  

With the knowledge of the elemental composition of the steels, lubricants, and coating materials present within the wear environment, you can better evaluate and understand where the debris particles are being generated, confidently gaining the best available diagnostic data. 

Wear Debris Monitoring Areas:

  • Aerospace - Jet Engine Condition Monitoring
  • Renewable Energy Supply - Wind Turbine Condition Monitoring
  • Existing Energy Supply - Ancillary Power Plant Equipment Monitoring:  Coal, Hydro, Nuclear
  • Industrial Manufacturing - Equipment Maintenance Monitoring and Contamination Levels
  • Medical Manufacturing - Device Coating and Fatigue wear, Liquid /Gas Contamination Monitoring

Discover Automated Particle Analysis

The automated solution for wear debris characterization from the Aspex Product Group is helping manufacturers achieve new standards of cleanliness and quality control, and in turn improving performance and reducing costs right on the production floor.  Automating the analysis and reporting for such processes, through the use of Aspex technology, can lead to great costs savings, while simultaneously increasing routine to complex failure mode assessments.

From uncovering the hidden cause of component failure, to becoming an integral part of the long-term improvement in product quality, wear debris characterization solutions from the Aspex Product Group has become an indispensable tool for the quality manager faced with monitoring particle debris and cleanliness.

  • Detect size and shape of each particle
  • Identify particle chemistry
  • Pinpoint exact component failure
  • Use trending to monitor wear



After the particle is detected and measured, an energy dispersive X-ray spectrum is acquired at the center perimeter, or along each chord for every particle detection event. Once the particle is characterized (size, shape and elemental composition) user­ defined rules place them into a "class". If needed, the particles can be relocated and further examined by the operator. Our system provides a customizable reporting tool that automatically generates reports of the analyses targets. In addition, a database stores all results of analyses for use in monitoring long term processing trends and comparative post processing data mining. All previous analyses can be reanalyzed with new rule classification and elemental vector sets at any future point.

Fully Customized Solution

The QuickStart Program offered for the Aspex Product Group was created to help new or existing customers eliminate the uptime associated with method development on a new instrument. Before taking delivery of your new instrument, our team of SEM/EDX specialists will develop a specific method based on a customer's unique application and then provide a road map for both sample preparation and analysis. Our team  will deliver the precise analytical solution including sample preparation procedures, optimized instrumental analysis parameters, detailed sample set-up instructions, data processing, and advanced reporting. This allows customers the ability to begin using their new SEM from the Aspex Product Group immediately after installation.


Increase Productivity and Profits through Automated Cleanliness Control of Manufactured Parts

As the automotive industry transforms with new technologies, timely, accurate, and quality production becomes increasingly critical to manufacturers. The evolving nature of the industry has resulted in stricter standards concerning cleanliness in automotive components such as brake systems, fuel injector nozzles, power steering pumps, and fluid hoses. In addition, cleanliness of a part surface is critical in making coatings adhere for final product finishing. An important part of this challenge is to develop and monitor adequate automotive part cleanliness.

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Products for Wear Debris Characterization

FEI Aspex Explorer SEM for Industrial Manufacturing
The Aspex Explorer is an automated, industrialized scanning electron microscope with OmegaMax EDX technology for particle identification.  Rugged enough for placement on the production floor, yet sophisticated enough for a laboratory setting.

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