For oil wetted components of gas turbine engines, such as bearings, reduction and accessory drive gears, debris monitoring is the most successful and cost effective condition monitoring technique. However, extensive field service experience demonstrates that full-flow debris monitoring is essential. Full-flow debris monitoring devices, as opposed to chip detectors installed in sumps or lines, monitor the entire scavenge flow. The detection efficiency of properly designed systems can reach 100 percent. This paper briefly discusses models for debris generation in bearings and gears and reviews the principles of successful debris separation and incipient failure detection in gas turbine engines. Several devices are discussed which represent the state-of-the-art in this field, including a centrifugal debris separator for aircraft jet engines which has been shown to be highly effective in field service. Of particular interest to the user of stationary gas turbines is a quantitative debris monitoring system which provides a real-time read out of debris production levels and gives reliable advance warning of impending failure; thus reducing down time, secondary damage and overhaul costs.

This content is only available via PDF.