How AgeAlert Works

AgeAlert is a low-cost conductive composite sensor, which precisely measures the degradation state of virtually any degradable product. Because the AgeAlert sensor is usually embedded in the product, it “sees” the same environment as the product.

The AgeAlert sensor tracks the product’s condition automatically (works in real time and without batteries until it’s interrogated) and in-situ (in place). In other words, the sensor monitors degradation all the time and it requires no power source until it’s interrogated. In addition, it “sees” the same environmental conditions as the product it monitors.

As the product ages, the polymeric components of the product shrink very slightly. Minute changes in the product’s shrinkage during aging provide large changes in the AgeAlert sensor’s resistance output (Research conducted by Georgia Tech and Polymer Aging concepts, Inc.)

AgeAlert essentially tracks the very minute change in shrinkage through change in electrical resistivity. For example, as motor insulation ages, AgeAlert monitors how much the insulation has aged by monitoring the electrical resistivity in the sensor. The AgeAlert sensor acts like a “variable resistor” whose resistance represents the amount of product degradation that has occurred or, conversely, the amount of remaining life of the product.

AgeAlert sensors track the age or degradation of the product, such as electrical insulation, based on actual operational and environmental conditions. The AgeAlert sensors help predict failure in advance and reduce unplanned malfunctions of motors, generators, transformers, solid propellants, industrial rubber and other polymeric materials.

AgeAlert has been developed by Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc., working in concert with Georgia Tech and major commercial and consumer suppliers. The extensive R&D effort was funded by several competitively awarded federal grants to improve the reliability and reduce maintenance costs.

As the product ages, AgeAlert monitors how much the insulation has aged by monitoring the sensor’s electrical resistivity. Arrhenius modeling converts raw sensor resistance data into remaining insulation design life.