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Ultrasound & Acoustic Lubrication

Ultrasound… Your first line of defence for Condition Monitoring.

Ultrasound is considered the first line of defense for finding defects that can lead to asset failure.

The first signs of change in the operating condition of an asset are usually indicated in the ultrasound frequencies.

Only after the asset has progressed to a more severe stage of deterioration do other asset condition monitoring technologies begin to play a role.

For planners and schedulers, having the largest window of opportunity possible to order parts, plan downtime, and allocate labour represents a tremendous advantage.

Ultrasound is one of the three classification of sound:

Besides Infrasound and Audible sound, Ultrasound refers to any sound pressure wave with a repetition frequency greater than 20 kHz. The characteristics of ultrasound, especially around 40 kHz are particularly interesting for inspectors listening for symptoms of assets failure.

Friction – Impact – Turbulence:

SDT Data collectors, such as the SDT340 or the SDT270, let you detect, measure and analyze friction and impacting in mechanical systemsTurbulent flow from compressed air and steam leaks helps you quickly identify costly energy waste. Ultranalysis Suite software lets you establish baseline readings and set alarms that tell you when your equipment is transitioning from good to bad.

What can Ultrasound be used on?

Ultrasound’s versatility is unlike any other condition monitoring technology as it can be used for both airborne & structure-borne applications. SDT identified eight application pillars and within each pillar there are virtually hundreds of ways to increase safety, eliminate unplanned downtime, and reduce energy waste.


Detect defects in any mechanical system.


Find pressure and vacuum leaks in noisy conditions.


Avoid over/under lubrication. Grease bearings right.


Inspect electrical systems for arcing, tracking and corona.


Assess valve tightness.


Find faulty steam traps and leaking components.


Troubleshoot any hydraulic system for passing & blockages.


Determine the tightness of any enclosed volume.

The Four Condition Indicators (4CI)

In the world of asset condition management you need dependable data to inform you about the condition of your production machines.

Before 4CI, ultrasound inspectors trended ultrasound data based on a single decibel measurement taken at an arbitrary point in time. Capture the measurement at the wrong time and the defect was either missed, or amplified beyond reality. 4CI allows inspectors to set the acquisition time prior to capturing the measurement. The result is a more representative and accurate collection of data.

By monitoring these four numbers on your ultrasound solution, you’re able to keep a pulse on the health of your facility and move from a reactive maintenance program to a condition-based approach.


Condition Indicator 1

Overall RMS

Averages the entire sample captured and returns a single RMS decibel value. The Overall RMS is used to trend the condition of a bearing throughout its lifecycle.


The highest of the sub RMSs calculated every 250ms. Compared with the RMS, it is used to find out if the signal is stable or if it varies.

Peak Value

It is the maximum instantaneous value recorded during the measurement cycle. It is used primarily for impacts produced by early stages of failure in bearings and gears.

Crest Factor

Ratio between the Peak Value and the RMS value. It is useful to estimate the failure severity for bearings and gears. It also helps predict remaining useful lifecycle.


SonaVu™ is a multi-frequency acoustic imaging camera that takes airborne ultrasound inspection to a new level.


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Have an enquiry? Contact the team at GVS today to learn more about our range of quality industrial condition monitoring products.

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