Different Types Of Sensors Used In Engineering Applications

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A number of different types of sensors are used within the engineering industry. Commonly, this includes sensors such as tension load cells, eddy-current sensors, and many other to monitor and keep track of laser displacement, pressure, vision, and color. Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg and all sensors vary in regards to their usages.

The first bridge circuit-measuring device created for measuring electrical resistances, was originally invented by Samuel Hunger Christie.

Subsequent to its release, most did not have interest until the English physicist; Sir Charles Wheatstone further developed and promoted it within the following year. Ensuing, these improvements and following a boost in popularity it became known as the Wheatstone bridge.

The bridge circuit design, works similar to the original potentiometer. Mainly, it works by balancing two legs within the bridge circuit, consisting of one leg for the measurement of an unknown electrical resistance, while the other consists of the unknown component.

Often, it is used for the measurement of resistance changes that occur within strain gages. The device design commonly consists of a flexible and insulated backing, used in the support of a foil pattern.

After attaching the device to an object by use of an adhesive, a Wheatstone bridge is commonly used to measure the resistance change that occurs during the time the foil and object become deformed.

The first bonded resistor wire strain gage was not developed until 1938. During this time, Arthur C. Ruge and Edward E. Simmons created the device in order to measure the amount of strain within an object.
In most cases, a load cell uses four strain gauges according to a Wheatstone bridge configuration.

This is referred to as a strain gauge load cell, which is the most common. However, most of the load cells consist of the Wheatstone bridge configuration, which offers the ability for measurements such as compression, shear force, and tension.

Tension Load Cells

A load cell works as a transducer in order to convert force into an electrical measureable output. The conversion takes place within an indirect and two-stage process.

Tension load cells tend to come in a range of different sizes and styles. In addition, they also vary for the limits they have. Some of the high capacity load cells can hold up to 2 million pounds. Furthermore, some of them offer a combination of compression and tension within one unit.

Eddy Current

With the eddy current technologies, people are capable of taking measurements, called inductive measurements from energy that comes from an oscillating circuit.

With this type of set up a coil of an alternating current is supplied, which in turn causes the formation of a magnetic current around the coil. Anything with an electrical current placed within the magnetic field causes the reaction called the eddy current.

One of the advantages with this type of process has to do with how a large number of electrically conductive, nonferromagnetic, and ferromagnetic metals can be used with this principle. In addition, the sensor is small compared to many others that are out there. In addition, it has a high temperature range as well as high accuracy.

Vision, Colour Sensors, and laser displacement sensors

Vision and colour sensors work together with other pieces within an application in order to ensure that everything goes as planned.

Each of the sensors are sensitive to a minute amount of detail and can ensure that the application acquires the right amount set to a number of different criteria. This allows for faster manufacturing than would be possible with the human eye.

In certain cases, this is attained through the combination of several sensors within one application. One of the names referred to for such a system is virtual system architecture. This allows for several sensors to work together within one application.

Laser displacement sensors are another type of non contact sensor. With the laser technologies, there is a laser diode that projects a visible portion of light onto the object that is currently being measured.

Any movement of the object having the light projected on it, causes the digital processing of the information.

These are just a few of the sensors used in the engineering industry today, but I am sure you can see the massive importance and potential of such devices in shaping the way we accurately limit or measure a number of fundamental properties and values.
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Take a look at other targeted resources about eddy current sensors or specifically about the Micro-Epsilon eddyNCDT 3700 product as well as laser displacement sensor products.

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Different Types Of Sensors Used In Engineering Applications

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This article was published on 2010/09/29