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5o. t lntroduction :

Basically transducers is defined as a device which converts energy of fbrm to another. These are
r.videly used in measurement because all quantities that need to measured, cannot be displayed
as easily as others.
Thus the transducer is a device which provides a usable output in response to specific input
measured which may be physical or mechanical quantitv. the transducer may be mechanical,
electrical, optical, magnetic, chemical, thermal or a combination of any fwo or more of these.
Mostly quantities to be measured and non - electrical such as temperature, pressure displacement,
humidity etc., but these quanfities cannot be measured directly. Hence such quantities are
required to be sensed and changed into some form for easy measurement. Electrical quantities
such as current, voltage, resistance, inductance and capacitance etc", can be conveniently
measured, transferred and stored.

Classification of Transducer :
Transducers can be classified in
I" Primary and secondary Transducers
2" Active and passive Transducer
3" Analog and Digital Transducer
4. Transducers and Inverse Transducers.
Primary and Secondary Transducer :
Transducers, on the basis of methods of applications may be classified into primary and
secondary transducers "

When the input signal is directly sensed by the transducer and if converted into electrical form
directly then such a transducer is cailed the primary transducer.
When the input signal is sensed first by some detector or sensor and then its output being of
some form other than input signal is given as input to a transducer for conversion into electrical
form, then such transducer falls in the category ofsecondary transducers.
ftorm ofenergy
inoutlS] Electrical inpqt@ical
a. Primary Transducer b. Secondary Transducer
,dctive and Passive Tnamsducers :
Transducers, on the basis of methods of energy conversion used, may be classifled into active
and passive transducers.

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The transducers which develop their output in the form of electrical voltage or current without
any auxiliary source are calJed the active transducers. Thus active transducer are called self
generating lype transducers.
Transducer, in which electrical parameters i.e., resistance, induellnce or capacitance changes
with the change in input signal are called the passive transducers. These transducers require
external power source for energy conversion.

Analog:ind Digital Transducers :
Transducers, on the basis of nature of output signal, may be classifled as anaiog and digital
'lf i
transducers. Analog transducer converts input signal into output signal,which is a continuous
function of time. Eg : Strain guage, LVTT etc.
Digital transducers converts input signal into a si-enal in the form of pulses. i.e., gives discrete

Transducer and fnverse Transducers :
Transducers convert non electrical quantify* into electrical and lnverse transducer viceversa.

5.7 Selecting a Transducer :
The points to be considered in determining a transducer suitability for a specific measurement
are as follows :

1. Range : The range of the transducer should be large enough to encompass all the expected
magnitudes of the measured.
2. Sensitivity : The transducer should give a sufficient output signal per unit of measured input
in order to yield meaningful data.
3. Electrical output characteristics : The electrical characteristics the output impedance, the
frequency response, and the response time of the transducer output signal should be compatible
with the recording device and the rest of the measuring system equipment.
4. Physical Environment : The transducer selected should be able to withstand the environmental
conditions to which it is likely to be subjected while carying out measurement and tests.
5. Errors : The errors inherent in the operation ofthe transducer itselfor those effors casued by
environmental conditions enough that they allow meaningful data to be taken.
Resistivc Transducers : In such a transducer, resistance between the output terminals of a
5.b transducer gets varied according to the measured.
Resistance of any metal conductor is given by

R =p1
Where p - Resistivify of the material of conductor in Qm
I - Length of conductor in meters
a - Cross sectional area of conductor in m2 .

Some ofthe resistive transducers are potentiometer, strain guage, resistance pressure transducer.

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1"" Fotentiometer: ti
A potentiometer (pot) is very simpie and cheap form of transducers. [t converts linear or '{
rotational displacement into voltage.
The simplest and eheapest form is a single length of wire along which a slider or other form
of moving device contacts the wire. The position of the slider determines the effective length
of the conductor. Hence a change in resistance or voltage drop is related to the position or
displacement of the sliders.
The potentiometer is a passive transducer since it requires an external power source for its

(a) Translatory potentiometer
The operation voltage is measured by a voltmeter, which may be calibrated in terms of
'Ihe output voltage of a pot is given by
Vo,, =ax V,
x 4.7
Types of Potentiometer :



h Vln

Rotary Fotentiorneter (c) Helipot
The sensitivity of the pot under ideal conditions is given as

3VVor Volts per metre for singie turn pots
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&l Resistive Position Transducer :

The principle of the resistive transducer is that the physical variable under measurement causes
a resistance change in the sensing element"
One type of displacement transducer uses a resistive element with a sliding contact or wiper
linked to the object being monitored or measured. Thus the resistance between the slider and
one end of the resistance element depends on the position of the object"
Figure shows the construction and typicalmethod of resistance position transducer.

(a) Construction
(a) Tlpical Method of use
Consider fig (b), if the circuit is unloaded, the output voltage V0 is given by
R': x{"
%' = [byusingpotentialdividerrule]
R, +R,
s-{ Strain gauges : It is an example of a passive transducer that uses the variation in electrical
resistance in wires to sense the strain produced by a fbrce on the rvires"
We knorv that the stress and strain on the portion of any object pressure is clirectly
related to the modules of elasticity.
The strain gauge is basically a device used for measuring mechanical surface strain and
is one of the most extensively used electrical transducers.
Operating Principle : The working of strain guage is based on the facr that when stress
is applied on the metal conductor its resistance changes to change in length and x -
sectional area ofthe conductor.
Resistance of conductor under stress is also changed due to change in resistivity of the
conductor, this properly is oalled the Piezoresistive etTect. Thus strain are aiso
called piezoresistance strain guage.

A \/
Where p -+ Specificresistanceof materialinmC)
I + Length of the conductor in m
A +Area of the conductor in m2
The sensitivity of the material to strain is calledthe guage factor

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"t...- (2)
(LJ= LllL \ 'l

We know that strain is defined as the change in length divided by the original length,
o = _..........(3)

lhus k
. AR/R

* = u* = p+ sincer=/2 ,, =t
n -- p-i - =-+
' nd'l4 nd'
." (q)
When the conductor is stressed,'due to the strain, the length of the conductor increases by
Al and the simultaneously decreases by Ad in its diameter.. Hence the resistance of the
conductor can now be written as

(t + at) P(l+ N)

|.F' -2dAd + Ad'z)
n. = q('.
a') . = ,'('.*%) ....... (s)
_,,( t_ 2^d) Id,[,_?aJ ....."\.,'
Tld'l d )4 r d )
Ad / d p is the poisson 's ratio is defined as a ratio of strain in the lateral
' Ll ll direction to strain in the axial direction
Ad al .. (6)
Substitute(6)in (s)
ol(t + rul t)

pt(t+aut) (t +zplvt)
(-2pt LU') (t +2pA1ll)

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D pt [(r + rur l)(r + zparl r)l

D pt Ir*zpAIll+ Al/l+ zy,tt'tfl
Sinee Alis small, we can neglect higherpowerof Al

*, =ffiU+zlttttl+Al/l]


.'. R,
' =-4=.-+*tlut)(r+zpr)
l%)o' l:4)o'\
\- -r.) wehave
The guage factor will now be

k -
*'' "R= (av
AR/ t:: t)(r)1,t + 2u)
-r"/ =l+Zp F-
Lt/t Al/l ' L

Types of strain guages (wire)
1" Grid type 2. Rossette type
3. Torque type 4. Helical type

i Direction of

U \/U +
I strain

(1) Grid Tlpe

(2) Rossette gauge

3. Torque type gauge 4. HelieaI gauge

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ryPc Gauge\'augc 6. Semiconductor strain gauge
1. Semiconductor straingauges have ahighgauge factor ofabout +130. This allowmeasurement
of very small strains, of the order of 0.01 micro strain.
2.Life in excess of 10 x 106 operations and a frequency response of l0t2 FIz.

Problems :

1. What is gauge factor ? A resistance wire strain gauge uses a soft wire of small
diameter. The gauge factor is +5.2. Neglecting the piezoresistive effect, calculate the
" poisson's ratio.
Sol: k=[+2u+"'
' Lltl Since piezo resistive effect is negiigible

or Poisson'sratio
k -i 5.2-l _,1
2. Calculate the gauge factor of a strain gauge if a 1.5 mm diameter conductor that is
24 mm long changes length by lmm and diameter by 0.02mm under a compression
Sol: Poisson'sratio

p- lateralstrain AD/D
Longitudinalstrain Ll.ll
0.0211.5 0.02x24 jl
"Ll=-- ll24 =_

k=I+ 2ls=l +2x0.32=1"64
3. Astraingaugehasaresistanceofunstrainedgauge ofl20Qandthegaugefactorof
-12. What is the resistance value of the gauge when it is subjected to a strain of 1o/o?
Sol: Original resistance of strain guage, R = 120 Q.
Strain= e=7o/o=0.01
Change in resistance, AR =e kR = 0"0 1 (-tZ) x tZO
AR =- 14.4CI

Resistance of strain guage under strain R' = R - AR. = I 20 - 1 4.4 = I 05.6 = 9 I ms

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s ,f Resistance Thermometers :

Resistance thermometer is often referred to as resistance - temperature detector (RTD). It
works on the fact that almost all pure metals have the property of varying their resistance with
temperatures and change in resistance is directly proportional to change in temperature.
Resistance with temperature for most metallic materials is given by

R, = Ro (t + ert + ptz + yt3 "+ .....rot')...(t)
Where Ro -+ Resistacein C)at reference temperature ie 0o C
R, + Resistance in C) at temperature t
o -> temperature co - efficient of ressitance in f) I e0 I C,

p, y,....crl -+ Coefficient determind by calibration for narrow range of operation
and higher coefficients are neglected

.". R, = R, (t + crt)....(2)

Wheatstone bridges are usually employed for measurement of variations in resistance , owing
to change in temperature, arising in RTD's. The bridge is usually calibrated for indicating the
temperature that causes the variation in resistance than the resistance variation iteself.

Temp in
Resistance variation with
Wheatstone bridge with RID temperafure for Pr , Ni, Cu

Problems :

1. A platinum resistance thermometer has a resistance of 120fi at 25"C. Determine
its resistance at 75" C. The temperature co-efficient of resistance at 25oC is 0.00392
{yOi'C fn case of resistance of the thermometer is found to be 180 Q determine its
Sotr : Given :
Ro = l20f)
o = 0.00392Q /Qlo C

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R, = i2o(l + o"oo392(t, - t,))
= 120(t + o.oo3e2(7s - zs))
E, = r435te4
Let the temperature corresponding to resistance of l80A be tf C

then R, =Ro[f +g(t,-t,)]
r 80: r20[1 + 0.003e2(t, - 2s))
-L. _120
_-T r"l(
' 0.00392

5"+ Thermisters :

They are also known as thermally sensitive resistors or thermal resistors. The resistance of the
thermister varies as a function of temperature. Thermister exhibit high negative temperature
coefficients and are very sensitive. The resistance R of a therister at a temperature T is given by
B= 61 sotr .... (1)
where o and B are constants
Fortemperatures! &\
Rr = Roe''\'/rr
'n' ..".(Z)
Where Rr & R0 *> Resistance in Q at absolute temperature
T, & T, & p +Thennister constant
Temperature co - efficient of resistance, Temperature characteristic
o= /n, =*......(:)
dT T'
There are wide variety of thermister available as shown in figure
Leaci wires

(a) Read
(a) Read
(e) Washer

Lead wires
o_i i+,
(d) Disc (e) Rod

Fig : Commenciatr forrms of Thenmaistors
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Problem :

olf 'l
1" The output relation for a thermistor is given by R =Roeit 1/ fo, To = 300 h, B

=3420,R0 = LkfJ and R = 2kC). Calculate T
R = Roe'(r
,o.o[' ' ]
2000 = 1000c \r 3oo,]

1o,1 t+zo(
\rI- *l
= log" 2 = 0.6e35

1- 1
-o'693i5 =o.oo2o2674
T 300 3420
i' ' ,.:'

5. g Inductive Transducers :

These are analog passive transducers" These transducers operate on the following principle
i. Variation of self inductance of the coil
ii. Variation of mutual inductance of the coil.
1". Transducers operating on the principle of variation of self inductance.
The self inductance of a coil is given by

L= f,t =YzFA=N2uG
/uo I

Where N -+ No" of turns of the coil
A + Area of cross section of magnetic path
p -+ Permiability
A I I -+ Gemetric form factor G.
From equation (1) it is clear that the self inductance of a coil can be varied by varying
a. Number of turns on the coil
b. The permeability of the magnetic material
c. Changing the geometrical configuratron of the magnetic circuit.

a. Ey varying the number of turns :
Such temperature can be used for measurement of linear or angular displacement as shown in
figure (a) and (b).

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) Output

(a) Inductive Transducer for (b) For measurement of
measurement of linear Displacement Angular displacement
b. By varying the permeability :
This transducer has a coil wound on a former and an iron core, to which the movable element is
attached, moves inside the coil. When the iron core is completely inside the coil, self inductance
of the coil is maximum because of increased value of flux.
As the iron core moves out,. reluctance of the magnetic circuit increases causing decrease in
flux which results in decrease in self inductance, L of coil.
Ifan ac supply is connected across the output terminals, the curient flowing through the coil
will decreaseas the core moves inside th'e coil because of increase of self inductance of the coil.
Thus used in a curent sensitive circuit.

Iron core
Former <->Displacement

For Measurement of linear

By variation of reluctance of the magnetic circuit
In this type oftransducer, length ofthe magnetic path varies with the displacement so reluctance
of the magnetic circuit changes causing change in self inductance of the coil.

Iron Piece

Reluctance of magnetic circuit S is the sum of reluctance of iron path S, and reluctance of
airgap S*

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Self inductanceof the coilL=S

2. Transducers operating on the principle of variation of Mutual - Inductance
Such transducers operates on the fact that mutual inductance between the two coils depends
upon the self inductances of the coils and coefficient of coupling between them, as mutual
inductance betrrreen two coils is given by

M=krE,l,, k-+Co - efficientof coupling

I I nirptu"ement
With displacement, ,uring iron piece causes change in air gap of the magnetic circuit" So
change in magnetic flux linking with coils resulting change in mutual inductance"

5.q Differential Output Transducer :

The differential output transducer consists of a coii which is divided into 2 parts as shown in
figure a & b.


(a) Linear differential output (b) Angular differential
transducer output transducer
Ifsuccessive stages of the instrument responds to Al or Am, rather L + AL or M * Am, the
sensitivify and accuracy will be much lighter.
The succeeding stages of the instrumentation system measures the difference between these
outputs. This is known as differential output.
Figure below shows an inductive transducer giving a differential output. 'Ihe output represents
a change ofselfinductance due to change ofreluctance.

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Inductive Tiansducer differential output

5 . ,O Linear Variable Differential Transducer (LVDT) :
It is also known as linear variable differential transforme used for translating linear motion into
an electrical signal.
Construction : The basic construction of LVDT is as shown in figure (a)

AC inout


_ Cylindrical arm-
Hollow H--_Wre__l

Fig : construction of a linear variable differential transducer (LVDT)

The transformer consists of a single primary winding P, and two secondary windings S, and S,
wound on a hollow cylindrical former. The secondary windings have an equal number of tums
and is corLnected to an ac source.
An movable soft iron core slides within the former and therefore affects the magnetic coupling
between the primary and the two secondaries. The displacement to be measured is applied to
the arm attached to the soft iron core"

When the core is in its normal position (null), equa.l voltages are induced in the fwo secondary
windings. The frequency of the ac applied to the primary winding ranges from 50Hz to 20 kHz.
The output voltage of the secondary windings S, is ES, and that of secondary s, in ES,

To convert the output from S, & S, into a single voltage the two secondaries S, & S, are
connected in series opposition as shown in fig (b).
Hence the output voltage of the transducer is the difference of the lwo voltages
When the core is at its normal position, the flux linking with both Sr & S, is equal , and. hence

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equal emf is induced. Hence ES, = ES, thus Eo = 0 at null position.
Now, if the core is moved to the left of null position, more flux links with S, is less
Thus E= Err - E' and is inphase with Er, .

The amount of voltage change in either secondary winding is proportional to the amount of
movement of the core.
igure below shows the core of an LVDT at different positions and the variation of output
against displacement.


Core atA Core at 0 Core at B
(a) (b) (c)

In - Phase

0: 180" 0=0"
I Linear
Residual Core PositionB

I Voltage

(b) Out of Phase

Fig : (a), (b), (c) : Various position of LVTT
(d) Variation of output voltage Vls displacement

(,ql Piezoelectric Transducer :

A "Piezoeleetric material" is one in which an electric potential appears across certain surfaces
of a crystal if the application of a mechanical foree. This potential is due to displacement of
external charges conversly, if a voltage potential is applied to the proper aris of a crystal, it will
change the dimensions of the crlstal thereby deforming it. This effect is known as piezoelectric
Two main groups of piezoelectric crystals.
1. Natural crystals - eg : quartz and tourmaline
2. Synthetic Crystals - eg Rocheile salt, lithium sulphate etc.

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Force Semming


Fig : Piezoelectric Transducer Equivalent Circuit of Crystal
An externally applied force, entering the transducer th,rough its pressure port, applies pressure
to the top of a crystal" This produces an emf across the crystal proportional to the magnitude of
applied pressure to the top ofa crystal. This produces an emfacross the crystal proportional to
the magnitude of applied pressue"
'Ihe output voltage E is given by

,_Q Where Q-+ generatedcharage
Cp C, -+Shunt Capacitane

Advantages :
1. High frequency response
2. Small size
3. High output
4. Neglible phase shift
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5. r> Photoelectric Transducer:
The photoelectric transducer operates on the principle that when light strikes special materials
the following may result
l. Electrons may flow
2. A voltage may be generated
3. A resistance change may take place.
Photoelectric transducers may be classified as
i. Photo emmisive cell
ii. Photo voltaic cell
iii. Photo conductive cell
1" Photo emissive cell :
This cell is also known as phototube" It is based on th emission of electrons from a metal chode,
when it is exposed to light or other radiation.
It consists of fwo metallic electrodes supported in an evacuated glass b:lb fitted with a base like
a thermionic valve.
When the light falls on the cathode photo electrons are emitted which are attracted by positive
anode. Current is produced whose magnitude depends on
i. Intensity of incident light
ii. Anode - Cathode voitage

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Fig: Photo Emissive Cell
g.lSdrnotovoltaic Cell :
In this cell sensitive element is a semiconductor which generates voltage proportional to the
iight. The most commonly used photo-voltaic ceils are barrier layer lype"
Figure shows a typical widely used photo - voltaic cell - selenium cell. It consists of a metal
electrode on which alal:r of selemium is deposited, on the top of this a barrier layer is formed
which is coated with a very layer of gold. The letter serves as a transtuscent electrode through
which light can imponge on the layer below. Under the influence of this light, a negative charge
will build up on th gold electrode and a positive charge on the bottom electrode"
Translucent layer of gold
(Tbp Electrode)
Barrier Layer
Layer of selenium

Metal base
(botlom electrode)
Voltaic Cell

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S.lg' Photo Conductive Cell :

Photo Conduetive Cell
Photo conductive cell uses a semiconductor material whose resistance changes in accordance
with the radiant energy" The resistivity of semiconductor materials like selenium, lead sulphide
is figure shows the simples form of such a eell using selenium. There are two electrodes provided .'"' , t r:l'
with the semiconductor material attac[ed to them.
As soon as the cell is illuminated its resistance decreases and the current through the circuit
becomes large. The shape of the semiconductor material is so made as to obtain a large ratio of
dark to light resistance.
\S . lg-4Semiconductor Photo Diode : A reverse biased semiconductor diode passes only a very small
'leakage curent, if the junction is exposed to light, under illumination however the
, , current
rises almost in direct proportion to the light intensity.
This device when operated with reverse voltage, fi.rnction as a photoconductor cell. When
operated without reverse voltage, it operates as a photo-voltaic cell.
Photo - diode is useful only at very low frequencies.
The symbol and illumination characteristic is as sholvn

Reverse Vbltage

(a) Symbol (b) Characteristic

S.1i.z Photo Transistor :
'Ihe sensitivity of a photo diode can be increased by as much as 100
times by adding a junction
resulting in a pnp's device
Illumination of light in the central region causes the release of electron hole pairs. This lowers
the barrier potential across both junctions causing an increase in the flow ofelectrons from the
left region into the centre region and on the right region.

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For a given amount of illumination on a very small are4 the photo transistor provides u rr.n '1,)',.
larger output current than that available from a photo - diode. Thus a photo - transistor is more
Photo transistors are more sensitive than photo - diodes but the photo diodes have faster
switching time.

(a) Symbol

(b)OutputCharacteristics (c)OutputCharacteristics
5. I b. Temperature transducers - RTD :

Temperature is one of the most widely measured and controlled variable in industry. A wide
variety of temperature measurement systems have been developed for different applications
Resistance temperature ietector commonly use platinum , nickel or any resistance wire whose
resistance varies with temperature and which has a high intrinsic accuracy. The relation between , , I : . '.'
temperature and resistance ofconductors in the temperature range near 0" C can be claculated
R,=\(1 +crAt)
RTD's are wire wound resistance with moderate resistance, and are not adaptable for fast
response clr small area temperature sensing.
Most RID instruments uses a r.vheatstone bridge or its modifled version. The RID and its
leads are connected in one of its arms. This bridge is essentially a resistance measuring cievice
which converts the resistance of the RTD into an electrical signal that is used for monitoring or
controlling temperature.

T\vo wire RTD Connections

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