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The purpose of a chip detector in the oil system of an engine/gearbox is to indicate that:
  • A
    there are metal particles in the oil.
  • B
    the piston rings are worn.
  • C
    the seals are worn.
  • D
    the oil temperature is too high.
Most of the engine’s elements are ferrous (bearings, shafts, etc.) and the continuous friction between them will induce gradual wear with time. Small magnetic plugs (chip detectors) are fitted into the lubrication system at specific positions to trap the worn residuals. The accumulation of debris on the magnetic plug will indicate the source and the rate of wear and will trigger a warning of impending failure without having to remove the filters for inspection. Electrical contacts will be fitted to the magnetic plugs so that in case of significant build-up, the circuit closes and activates a warning light in the flight deck.

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