Strain measurement on rolling bearings using sensors applied by aerosol-based deposition

Dr.-Ing. Marcel Bartz

Value for the audience

An insight into the possibilities of integrating sensors in a relatively space-neutral design, followed by a discussion of the potentials and possibilities of using printed sensors, e.g. at the networking event, and a fruitful exchange of ideas.


The sensor application on rolling bearings is especially interesting against the background of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance procedures to ensure a safe operating as well as to save resources and costs. While some operating parameters, such as rotational speeds and oil temperatures, can be easily measured using state-of-the-art equipment, some characteristics, such as deformation near the load zone, are difficult to measure during operation. The reasons for this are e.g. the inaccessibility of the mounting position or the non-compliance with installation space neutrality and thus the influence of the sensor on the measurement position. Therefore, it seems to be beneficial to use printed sensors in rolling bearings, which can be used in very narrow design spaces, offering advantages in this respect.


In this contribution, the application of printed strain gauges – by means of an Aerosol Jet printing process – on the side of a rolling bearing ring is presented and their suitability is investigated by means of experimental tests under isolated laboratory conditions. Thereby, the fundamental possibilities and challenges of using the Aerosol Jet process to print these sensors, as well as the essential advantages and disadvantages, are presented. In order to validate the results of the measurements of the printed sensors, they are compared with a commercial sensor as a reference as well as an FE simulation. The experimental results show that the printed sensors can work successfully as a strain gauge. Finally, the resulting challenges, such as printing on difficult bearing geometries and further challenges are evaluated and an outlook for further work is given.

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