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Mechanical Engineering Laboratory Report

Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT)

Name: Syed Matahir Hussain Shah Kazmi

Student ID: SUKD1500370

Group: K

Course Code: EGE3431

Course Name: Laboratory Investigation 4

Submission Date: 27/09/17


An experiment was performed to study the characteristics of input-output signals of a linear

variable differential transformer (LVDT) also known as a Displacement sensor. Besides, its
sensitivity and linear range was also tested. LVDT act as a fundamental tool to measure change
of displacement precisely in every mechanical laboratory. After experiment LVDT was found
very sensitive for displacement change with some differences in display readings. A Screw
gauge was attached with LVDT to compare the displacement readings of scale and LVDT at
different displacement values.


Study the sensitivity, linear range and the characteristics of input-output signals of LVDT.


Inside of LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer), there is a cylindrical former

which is surrounded by one primary winding in the center and the two secondary windings at
the sides. For the secondary windings, their number of turns are equal but opposite to each
other. For an example, when the left secondary windings is in the clockwise direction then
the right secondary windings will be in the anti-clockwise direction. The net output voltages
is the differential voltages between the two secondary coils. There is also a core placed in the
centre of the cylindrical former which can move in to and fro motion as shown in the figure


a) Scientech 2304 trainer with power supply cord

b) Connecting rod
c) Multimeter


5.1. Experiment 1

a) The trainer was switched on.

b) The micrometer was made to read 10 mm i.e. thimble was rotated till 0 of the circular
scale coincides with 10 of main scale.
c) Display will indicate 00.0. This was the position when core was at centre i.e. equal flux
linking to both the secondary.
d) If display was not 00.0 then the display reading was adjusted to 00.0 with the help of
hexagonal nut arrangement given with the LVDT.
e) The USB Cable was connected between trainer and PC.
f) The software was opened and the start button was clicked on.
g) The port where the USB cable was connected was selected and the start button was clicked
on. If USB port connects beyond com10, it will not be showing in drop down list. Go on
Device manager, change its property, and assign USB port between com2 to com9.
h) The thimble was rotated clockwise so that micrometer read 9.9 mm. It moved core 0.1
mm inside the LVDT and simultaneously the reading on display was observed. It
indicated the displacement from 10 mm position in positive direction. The reading was
positive. It was indicated that secondary I was at higher voltage than secondary II. User
can see resulting Waveforms on real time software window or Oscilloscope.
i) The above step was repeated by rotating thimble again clockwise by 0.1mm. Reading will
be taken after each 0.1 mm rotation until micrometer read 0 mm. This was positive end.
At this point secondary I have highest voltage and secondary II has lowest voltage (not
j) The thimble was rotated anticlockwise so that micrometer read 10 mm. The display was
00.0. (Centre or null position).
k) The thimble was rotated anti clockwise so that micrometer read 10.1 mm. It moved core
0.1 mm outside the LVDT and simultaneously reading on display was observed. It
indicated displacement from 10 mm position in negative direction. The reading was
negative. It was indicated that secondary II is at higher voltage than secondary I.
l) The above step was repeated by rotating thimble again anticlockwise by 0.l mm. Reading
was taken after each 0.1 mm rotation until micrometer read 20 mm. This was negative
end. At this point secondary II has highest voltage and secondary I have lowest voltage
(not Zero). Sensitivity of real time software was 0.5mm (i.e on real time software window,
readings will change after every 0.5mm displacement).
m) The above results was compared with the observation table 1.

5.2 Experiment 2

a) The procedures of Experiment 1was repeated.

b) The graph for the display reading with the proportional change with the displacement (as
done in the previous Experiment) was plotted. The point from which it disobeys the linear
relation was found.
c) The displacement reading of micrometer for the above point was noted and 10 mm was
subtracted from it. The difference is the linear range of LVDT.
d) The trainer was linear over full scale that was 10 mm. So linear range was 10 mm.

5.3 Experiment 3

a) The trainer was switched on.

b) The micrometer was made to read 10 mm.
c) The reading of micrometer was noted.
d) The differential voltage between Test Point TP6 and TP7 was measured with multi meter
in mV range.
e) The micrometer was made to read 9 mm.
f) Step 4 was repeated.
g) Then sensitivity of LVDT was calculated.
Displacement (mm) indicated by
Display Reading (mm)
0 mm 9
1 mm 8
2 mm 7.1
3 mm 6.2
4 mm 5.3
5 mm 4.2
6 mm 3.3
7 mm 2.3
8 mm 1.3
9 mm 0.4
10 mm -0.6
11 mm -1.6
12 mm -2.5
13 mm -3.5
14 mm -4.5
15 mm -5.4
16 mm -6.4
17 mm -7.2
18 mm -8.2
19 mm -9.0
20 mm -9.9

Graph between displacement (mm) indicated by micrometer and

Display reading (mm)


Display Reading

0 5 10 15 20 25
Display Reading (mm)
linear rang


Displacment Indicated by micrometer


(𝐷𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 10𝑚𝑚 − 𝐷𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 9𝑚𝑚)𝑚𝑉

(10𝑚𝑚 − 9𝑚𝑚)
(102 − 93)𝑚𝑉
(10𝑚𝑚 − 9𝑚𝑚)

= 9 mV / mm

(𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 − 𝐶𝑎𝑙𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒

% error = | | x 100
(𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒)
= | (9.904) |x 100

= 9.1%

Accuracy = 100% - 9.1%

= 90.9%

From the graph it can be seen that the line is not exactly straight. Which means at some
points the actual displacement indicated by micrometer differs from the display readings.
In experiment, the metal core moves slowly right or left in the cylinder former. Primary
coil, sandwiched between the two secondary coils, induce emf (electromotive force) in
the metal core which result in induced current in the core. When the iron core is moved
left or right the voltage is produced in the secondary coils as a result the coil nearer to the
metal core produces more voltage than the other. Differential of the voltages between the
two secondary coils is signally conditioned to produce the display readings in terms of
Linear range of LVDT is shown by the plotted graph. The graph stays linear from 9 to -
6.4mm by display reading and then the line deviates slightly. Normally the linear range of
operation of LVDT is calculated by using maximum display reading subtract the
minimum display reading of the experiment which in the experiment performed was
measured as, Linear Range = 9-(-9.9)=18.9. But in fact, Linearity is the closeness of the
calibration curve of a measuring system to a straight line which from the graph will be
considered from the starting point up to the point of non-linear i.e. 9mm _
The sensitivity of a measuring instrument is its ability to detect quickly a small change in
the value of a measurement. Theoretically sensitivity is define as the ratio of change in
output to a change in the value of the input. By calculation we have found the sensitivity
of LVDT to be 9mV/mm which means a net voltage of 9mV is measured with each 1mm
Like an accurate instrument LVDT was able to give readings close to or almost equal to
the actual value of a quantity. The accuracy of this experiment obtained by using the
formula is 90.87%. To improve the accuracy of the experiment, we can repeat the
experiment and get the average data. Besides, make sure the micrometer is start from the
correct experimental value to avoid wrong data taken. Also, check for any zero error in
the micro meter and the software should be working properly without any bugs or
interruptions for more accuracy.

The purpose of this experiment was to study the input-output features of signals from
LVDT, which was concluded successfully. Further, linear range and sensitivity were also
tested and determined.