Schirru, M., Sutton, M., Dwyer-Joyce, R., Smith, O. et al., "Development of a Novel Ultrasonic Viscometer for Real Time and In-Situ Applications in Engines," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-0679, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0679.
A novel ultrasonic viscometer for in-situ applications in engine components is presented. The viscosity measurement is performed by shearing the solid-oil contact interface by means of shear ultrasonic waves. Previous approaches to ultrasonically measure the viscosity suffer from poor accuracy owing to the acoustic miss-match between metal component and lubricant . The method described overcomes this limitation by placing an intermediate matching layer between the metal and lubricant. Results are in excellent agreement with the ones obtained with the conventional viscometers when testing Newtonian fluids. This study also highlights that when complex mixtures are tested the viscosity measurement is frequency dependent. At high ultrasonic frequencies, e.g. 10 MHz, it is possible to isolate the viscosity of the base, while to obtain the viscosity of the mixture it is necessary to choose a lower operative frequency, e.g. 100 kHz, to match the fluid particle relaxation time.