A UNIVERSITY in the United States has developed a sensor that can predict when hose, o-ring or belt is likely to fail, up to two weeks in advance.
This breakthrough, if applied to automotive air-conditioning systems, could dramatically reduce refrigerant emissions and prolong the life of components that might fail as a knock-on effect of wear on rubber parts.
A team of researchers at Purdue University in West Layafette, Indiana developed the technology, under the leadership of agricultural and biological engineering professor Gary W. Krutz.
“Hoses and seals are subjected to harsh and unpredictable conditions, making them susceptible to damage that can cause vehicle road breakdowns and accidents,” said Professor Krutz.
Eaton, a global technology firm specialising in improving the efficiency of electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power systems, has already licensed the technology and sells it under the LifeSense brand for monitoring the integrity of hydraulic hoses.
Researchers have also tested the technology on 100 different products including shoes, aircraft wing composites, boat hulls and sporting goods.
“The potential uses of this technology touches nearly every industry,” said Professor Krutz.
Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialisation is taking further licensing applications for the sensor.