Traditionally, rotrode atomic emission spectroscopy (RAES) is the technology and methodology of choice used in DoD to monitor the wear occurring in oil system components of jet engines. Eight microns is the maximum size of particles that AES can resolve into their elemental composition.[1] The Joint Oil Analysis Program Technical Support Center (JOAP-TSC) has developed an automated technology and methodology to analyze debris extracted from jet engine oil filter elements. The method is termed filter debris analysis (FDA) and particle size is not an issue in FDA. The J52 engine was experiencing catastrophic failures where the root cause was linked to the failure of the 4 1/2 bearing assembly. RAES was not successful in detecting the onset of the failure of the 4 1/2 bearing assembly. FDA was employed in an attempt to detect 4 1/2 bearing failure in the J52 engine. The J52 engineering group has reported that FDA and RAES together are 90% effective in detecting 4 1/2 bearing failure. JOAP-TSC data indicates that the FDA technique is 95% or better in detecting 4 1/2 bearing failure.

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