Oil sensors and oil analyzers are used in automotive or industrial machinery applications to sense oil levels, and check for contamination, particulates, viscosity and/or temperature. Oil sensors and oil analyzers are also known as ferrography instruments. Ferrography is a method of wear analysis that identifies particles suspended in lubricating fluids. Oil sensors and oil analyzers enable technicians to reliably predict when the oil in an engine needs to be changed.
On-board oil sensors and oil analyzers installed in vehicles provide feedback on the age of the oil in the engine by monitoring the dielectric constant of the oil. This type of oil sensor uses a capacitor with two parallel electrodes that are separated by a gap filled with oil. An oil dielectric tester correlates to the acidity of the oil and indicates the level of oil degradation. Other oil sensors and oil analyzers test for the level of oil and the oil pressure in an engine. An oil pressure sensor is used to monitor the oil pressure in the engine to ensure that it works with other engine parameters, such as crankshaft position and timing. This ensures that the oil is properly lubricating the engine. An oil level sensor is used to monitor the level of oil in an engine. If there is an oil leak somewhere in the engine, the oil level sensor can provide indication of a problem with a panel indicator light.
Oil level sensors and oil pressure sensors are vital for the proper, safe operation of all kinds of engines, and are especially important in aircraft. Oil sensors and oil analyzers also test for water contamination in oil. Oil testing for water contamination is important for industrial lubricated operations in marine environments, such as those in ships, boats, and oil platforms. An oil in water analyzer is a different type of oil analyzer that detects oil in or on top of a body of water. This type of analyzer is used to monitor for oil leaks or spills in sensitive ecological environments. Other types of oil sensors and oil analyzers may also be available from some suppliers and manufacturers.