Mobility Sensor Solutions

© TU Graz/IME & AVL List GmbH

Innovative sensor technology revolutionizes lubrication system analysis in transmissions

The IME presented its first mobility sensor solution, the FMwMD-sensor, at the CTI Symposium 2019 in Berlin. Follow the links to download more information and documents.

Introducing IME’s first mobility sensor solution

In transmission development, one of the core tasks is the design of the lubrication system. With increasing requirements in terms of rotational speed and size, new challenges emerge for this area. Because of these challenges, current verification methods reach their limitations.

  • Difficult optical accessibility for visual analyses
  • Limited speed and temperature of transparent structures
  • Not reproducible time-behavior for luminescent dye tests
  • No sensors for lubrication system analyses available

Therefore, more accurate and sophisticated lubrication analyses are needed to supplement current methods. With the innovative FMwMD-sensor, the quality of the development and as a consequence, the functional reliability of series applications can be improved.

The Flow Meter with Medium Detection-sensor, in short FMwMD, was designed for the quantification of multiphase flows and is a new approach for analyzing the lubrication in transmissions. By integrating several measurement principles into one miniaturized sensor, the flow velocity and the temperature of the lubricant can be measured. Furthermore, the sensor is capable of detecting solid oil and gaseous phases as well as oil splashes and air bubbles.  

The benefits of using the FMwMD-Sensor are versatile and improve many aspects throughout the development process as well as throughout the lifetime of series applications.

  • Increased speed of analysis process compared to conventional methods
  • Measurement at test positions with difficult accessibility
  • Qualitative measurement data as supplement to visual analyses
  • Cost savings due to more accurate verification of simulation models

Figure 1: FMwMD-Sensors in transmission © TU Graz/IME

Based on the generated measurement data, a map of the lubrication condition depending on rotational speed, tilt angle and temperature can be created for each tested component. By combining the data of several sensors, which are placed at critical components, a lubrication condition map of the whole transmission system can be derived.

Figure 2: Lubrication map © TU Graz/IME

The FMwMD-sensor was developed for applications in transmissions. For that reason, it is capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions. Because of its minimized size, it adapts perfectly to individual test points and is, therefore, minimally invasive. Therefore, the sensor poses the ideal supplement for current analysis methods.

Figure 3: Dynamic Tilt Rig © AVL List GmbH

At the TU Graz - AVL Transmission Center, the FMwMD-sensor is already successfully in use in several projects with industry partners.

Further fields of applications

  • Quantification of air flows
  • Measurement of cooling systems in battery packs
    • In addition to the conventional temperature measurements, the flow can be characterized
  • Combined lubrication and coolant cycle analysis
    • e-fluid cooled e-motors
    • e-fluid cooled batteries
    • e-fluid cooled power electronics
    • e-fluid cooled and lubricated transmission


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