Sensor Technology Red-Flags Tire, Hose, Seal Failure

The technology uses a sensor that can predict up to two weeks in advance when a tire or hose is compromised and in danger of failing.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

May 2, 2016

2 Min Read
Purduersquos Newell left Krutz developing early wearandtearwarnings
Purdue’s Newell (left), Krutz developing early wear-and-tear-warnings.

Technology designed to predict failures of the integrity of a tire, hose or other mechanical equipment could help increase automotive safety, Purdue University researchers say.

The technology uses a sensor that can predict up to two weeks in advance when a tire or hose is compromised and in danger of breaking.

It was developed by a team lead by Gary W. Krutz, professor of agricultural and biological engineering.

“Besides natural wear and tear, tires, hoses and seals are subjected to harsh and unpredictable conditions, making them susceptible to damage that can cause vehicle road breakdowns and accidents, and the same concerns can be said for medical hoses like breathing hoses or tubes,” Krutz says in a statement.

The cost of replacing a hydraulic hose or tire is substantially less if it is replaced before it breaks down, he says. “More important is the safety factor involved in these situations. Preventing a possible engine breakdown or tire blowout caused by a failure in the integrity of a product is paramount.”

Purdue cites a 2012 NHTSA report stating vehicles with properly inflated tires were found in 3.4% of crashes while 96.6% of vehicles involved in a crash had underinflated or overinflated tires.

Brittany Newell, assistant professor of engineering technology, says the sensor technology shows great promise in detecting similar damage or potential breakage in O-rings and V-belts, thus helping mitigate engine failures.

“Hydraulic hoses are subject to wear and degradation due to abrasion, cycling fatigue, pressure spikes, UV radiation and introduction of incompatible fluids to a system,” she says. “This is true with tires, O-rings and V-belts used in all types of machinery such as construction equipment, lawn and garden equipment, mining vehicles and airplanes.”

The technology has been tested on other components and can be used in rubber products such as vehicle isolators, door and automotive seals and orthopedic devices.

The technology already is being used in hydraulic hoses with Cleveland-based power-management company Eaton, which licenses Krutz’s technology for its LifeSense sensing product.

LifeSense monitors hydraulic hoses to identify wear and tear that could lead to a failure. When the integrity of a hose is compromised, a report automatically is sent to the user for repair or replacement. The notification is provided soon enough to replace the hose during planned maintenance and saves downtime, cleanup costs, environmental damage and potential injury.

The patented technology is available through the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization.

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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