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Proximity Detection in the Presence of Metal Objects

Proximity Detection in the Presence of Metal Objects

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Published by tim.alexander75
This application note describes implementing proximity detection at the presence of large metal objects. Recommendations about sensor mechanical construction and proximity sensing best practices are provided. An example of proximity sensing implementation for microwave ovens is also provided.
This application note describes implementing proximity detection at the presence of large metal objects. Recommendations about sensor mechanical construction and proximity sensing best practices are provided. An example of proximity sensing implementation for microwave ovens is also provided.

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Published by: tim.alexander75 on Feb 09, 2009
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06/17/2009

 
Proximity Detection in the Presence ofMetal Objects
January 25, 2008 Document No. 001-42851 Rev. ** 1
AN42851
Author
: Victor Kremin, Andriy Ryshtun, Vasyl Mandzij
Associated Project
: Yes
Associated Part Family
: CY8C21x34, CY8C24x94GET FREE SAMPLES HERE 
Software Version
: PSoC Designer
 
4.4
Associated Application Notes
: AN2352
Application Note Abstract
This application note describes implementing proximity detection at the presence of large metal objects. Recommendationsabout sensor mechanical construction and proximity sensing best practices are provided. An example of proximity sensingimplementation for microwave ovens is also provided.
Introduction
The ability to use proximity detection in white goods andautomotive applications is often essential. For example,proximity detector is used to turn on the backlight in akitchen stove or the internal lamp in a microwave ovenwhen the palm is close to the door. In various homeappliances a proximity sensor turns on the display whenthe user tries to adjust some parameters.Cypress provides a CY3235 kit that demonstratesproximity sensing. The CY3235 kit has a detection rangeof 30 cm when the sensor is located far away fromconductive objects such as metals. When a wire sensor isplaced on a metal surface, detection range dramaticallydecreases from 30 cm to 2 cm. Most white good andautomotive applications have a metal frame or case that isa challenge for proximity sensing devices.This CY3235 kit contains a wired sensor and small PCBwith CY8C21434 chip on board, as shown in Figure 1.  The reasons why the proximity detection range reducesdramatically when conductive objects are placed close tothe sensor are:1. The sensor stray capacitance increases. Straycapacitance reduces the proximity response value byproviding a higher full scale range. Larger straycapacitance often requires operation frequencyreduction, causing the additional detection distance todecrease.2. A grounded metal plane catches a part of the sensorelectric field and reduces the added by palmcapacitance.Figure 1. CY3235 Proximity Detector Demonstration Kit
 
AN42851
January 25, 2008 Document No. 001-42851 Rev. ** 2
Electrical Field Simulation
Simulations using the tool Comsol Multiphysics V.3.2 aremade to clarify the influence of a metal presence near theproximity detection sensor.This tool has a powerful interactive environment formodeling and solving most scientific and engineeringproblems based on Partial Differential Equations (PDEs).Using the built in physics modes,
 
it is possible to developmodels by defining the relevant physical quantities suchas material properties (geometric dimensions, objectconductivity, dielectric constant, and so on) and sources,rather than by defining the underlying equations. ComsolMultiphysics internally compiles a set of PDEsrepresenting the entire model.The electrical field from a single proximity detection sensorwith and without metal object simulation is shown in Figure2 and Figure 3.  Figure 2. Electrical Field from a Single Wire Sensorwithout a Metal ObjectFigure 3. Electrical field from a single wire sensor with ametal objectThe simulation conditions are:
 
The palm is modeled as a 10cm x 15cm x 1.5cmmetal substrate with zero potential (grounded).
 
The sensor wire has a diameter of 2 mm and length of150 mm.
 
The wire potential is 5V.
 
The wire to palm distance is 80mm.
 
The wire to metal distance is 2mm.
 
The grounded metal plate dimensions are 500 x500mm.The simulation results show that the metal surface catchesa part of the proximity detector sensor electrical field andgreatly decreases the electrical field strength. This causesthe proximity sensor detection range to decrease.To get the quantitative data there is an estimated added-by-palm capacitance with and without a metal object usingthe Gauss theorem in the sectionInterelectrodeCapacitance Calculationon page 3.  MetalsurfacePalmPalmWiresensorElectricalfield linesElectricalfield linesWiresensor
 
AN42851
January 25, 2008 Document No. 001-42851 Rev. ** 3
Interelectrode Capacitance Calculation
Using the simulation results you can determine theelectrical field vector tension in any point of the medium.These results are used in calculating the mutualcapacitance of a system of electrodes.The capacitance is defined by the formula:
 
nii
q
1
 
(1)According to the Gauss theorem, the flux of the vector oftension of the electrostatic field in a vacuum through theclosed surface is equal to the algebraic sum of thecharges concluded into this surface divided by electricpermanent(1):
 
niiS
qS E 
10
1
 
 
(2)
S
- Any closed surface that includes wire sensor.Where:
m
 / 1085.8
120
 
,
5
 
 If there is a system of some objects displaced in a mediumand you add one or more other objects, you can evaluatethe intercapacitance by subtracting the value of the mutualcapacitance in a system without the additional objects,from the value with the additional objects.The algorithm to calculate the intercapacitance of asystem of electrodes is:Calculate the mutual capacitance of an arbitraryelectrodes system by:a) Calculating the flux of the vector of tension of theelectrostatic field through a closed surface that concludeswire sensor:
 
S E 
S E 
Ф
 
(3)b) Finding the algebraic sum of the charges included intothis closed surface using the Gauss theorem:
01
 
 E nii
Ф
q
 
(4)
 
c) Dividing the result of the last equation by the value of apotential of the object inside our image cube to find thevalue of the mutual capacitance:
 
niimutual
q
1
 
(5)Calculate the own capacitance, by repeating theaforementioned steps without the palm:Using the equations (3)-(5) you find:
 
nii
qCown
1
 
(6)Then intercapacitance between sensor and palm is equalto:
ownmutual
int
 
(7)The simulations are repeated several times with differentsensor configurations. The summary of the results isshown in Table 1.  Table 1. Simulation Results
Configuration C
mutural
, pF C
owm
, pF C
int
, pF
No metal objects 8.89 8.36
0.53
Metal object,connected toground22.53 22.46
0.07
Metal object withsame potential assensor110.6 110.3
0.3
As shown in simulation results for this
 
configuration, thegrounded metal surface decreases the added-by-palmcapacitance by eight times, from 0.53pF to 0.07pF. Thisexplains why the detection distance drops so much.When you change the metal plane potential to the samelevel as the proximity detection sensors, the addedcapacitance is 0.3pF, which is only two times less than0.57pF for a configuration without metal object presence.This demonstrates that you can improve the detectiondistance by placing a large shield electrode with the samepotential as sensor, between the metal case and theproximity detection sensor.

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