Chapter 3: Transducer

• Transducer is a device which transforms energy from one type to another. • The majority convert electrical energy to mechanical displacement or convert some nonelectrical physical quantity, such as temperature, sound or light to an electrical signal.
– Typical energy domains are mechanical, electrical, chemical, magnetic, optical and thermal.

• Transducer can be further divided into Sensors, which monitors a system and Actuators, which impose an action on the system.

• To sense the presence, magnitude and frequency of some measurement. • To provide an electrical output that, when appropriately processed and applied to a readout device, gives accurate quantitative data about the measurement.

• Classification based on physical phenomena – Mechanical: strain gauge, accelerometer, etc. – Temperature: Resistance temperature detector (RTD), thermal couple, thermistor, – Light: photovoltaic cells, photo-conductive cells – Sound: microphone transducer • Classification based on measuring mechanism – Capacitance Sensing (Capacitive) – Inductance Sensing (Inductive)

Direction of sensitivity

Inductive proximity sensors

A strain gauge

Resistive thermometers

What are the factors need to be considered in the selections of transducer???? .

Environmental compatibility.SELECTING A TRANSDUCER • • • • • Operating range. Accuracy. Sensitivity. Linearity. .

– The transducer may be subject to repeatability and calibration errors as well as errors expected owing to sensitivity to others. – The transducer should maintain range requirements and good resolution.SELECTING A TRANSDUCER • Range – maximum and minimum values that can be measured. • Accuracy – Accuracy is a measure of the maximum expected error. .

– a measure of the change produced at the output for a given change in the quantity being measured • Linearity – maximum deviation from a ‘straight-line’ response – normally expressed as a percentage of the full-scale value • Environmental durability: will the sensor robust enough for its operation conditions .SELECTING A TRANSDUCER • Sensitivity – The transducer must be sensitive enough to allow sufficient output.


acceleration etc. • Can measure force. displacement. stress. strain. Direction of sensitivity A strain gauge . pressure.STRAIN GAUGE • Strain gauges are devices whose resistance changes under the application of force or strain.

STRAIN GAUGE • Stretching in one direction increases the resistance of the device. while stretching in the other direction has little effect • Can be bonded to a surface to measure strain • Used within load cells and pressure sensors .

.Definition of strain • A strain is a normalized measure of deformation representing the displacement between particles in the body relative to a reference length.

Electrical Resistance .

.01mm. Find the electrical resistance in ohms (the resistivity of constant is 44.STRAIN GAUGE • A constant round wire is 10cm long and has a radius of 0.2  10-6 Ωcm).

call piezoresistivity. mechanical deformation of the material produces changes in electrical resistance. so if length or the area A can be made to vary under the influence of an outside parameter then the electrical resistance of the wire will change. • Piezoresistivity is the change in the electrical resistance of a conductor due to changes in length and cross-sectional area. In piezoresistance materials. .Piezoresistivity • Note that resistivity factor  is a constant. • This phenomenon.

=strain of the gauge R= gauge resistance .SENSITIVITY OF STRAIN GAUGE • The sensitivity of the strain gauge is expressed in terms of unit change of electrical resistance for a unit change in length and is given in the form of gauge factor k : where.

5x10-5 and the resistance of strain gauge change is 6mΩ. If the gauge resistance is 120Ω. .EXERCISE • A strain gauge is used in testing a machine. the strain of the gauge is 1. Calculate the gauge factor.

Strain vs Strain .


which is subjected to a strain of 1x10-6. calculate the change in resistance. .EXERCISE • A resistance strain gauge with a gauge factor of 2 is fastened to a steel member. If the original resistance value of the gauge is 130.

.6 mm under a tension force.EXERCISE • Find the gauge factor of a conductor that is 24 mm long if the resistance changes and the length changes 1.


• Capacitor with variable capacitance. **dielectric: having the property of transmitting electric force without conduction. • Comprises of two parallel metal plates that are separated by the material such as air. insulating.CAPACITIVE TRANSDUCER • Capacitive transducer is used for measuring linear displacement. . which is called as the dielectric material.


.CAPACITIVE TRANSDUCER • The value of the capacitance changes due to change in the value of the input quantity that is to be measured.

Exercise • An electrode-diaphragm pressure transducer has plate whose area is 5 x 10-3m2 and whose distance between plates is 1 x 10-3m. Calculate its capacitance if it measures air pressure. . The dielectric constant of air is k = 1.



• The self-generating type utilizes the basic electrical generator principle.INDUCTIVE • Inductive transducer may be either the selfgenerating or the passive type. that when there is relative motion between a conductor and magnetic field. • This relative motion between field and conductor is supplied by changes in the measured. . a voltage is induced in the conductor (generator action).

EX: TACHOMETER • A tachometer is an inductive transducer that directly converts speed or velocity into an electrical signal. . The voltage developed may approach 10mV per revolution per minute (rpm) and can be fed directly into a dc voltmeter calibrated in rpm units. • Mechanism: • The coupling turns the rotating armature between the poles of a permanent magnet. thereby inducing a voltage in the winding of the rotor.


TEMPERATURE TRANSDUCER • Temperature transducer can be divided into three basic types: – Resistance temperature detector (RTD) – Thermocouples – Thermistors .

due to higher accuracy and repeatability. • They are slowly replacing the use of thermocouples in many industrial applications below 600 °C. . Nickel. Copper metals are typically used • They are available in many configurations and sizes and as shielded or open units for both immersion and surface applications.Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) • Platinum.

Temperature sensors • Resistive thermometers – typical devices use platinum wire (such a device is called a platinum resistance thermometers or PRT) – linear but has poor sensitivity A typical PRT element A sheathed PRT .


EXERCISE • A platinum resistance thermometer has a resistance of 150 at 20°c. calculate its resistance at 50°c( = 0.00392) .

.Thermocouples • One of the most commonly used methods of measuring temperature in science and industry depends on the thermocouple effect.

.Thermocouples • Mechanism : • When a pair of wires made of different metals are joined together at one end. • The magnitude of this voltage depends on the materials used for wires and the amount of the temperature difference between the joined ends and the other ends. a temperature difference between this end and the other end of the wires produces a voltage between wires.

Thermocouples • The junction of the two wires of the thermocouple is called the sensing junction. and the other ends of the wire are connected to the voltage-measuring equipment. when the cost of the equipment is very low. simply maintained at the room temperature. In normal use this junction is placed in or on the material being tested. the other are either kept at a constant reference temperature or. . • Since the temperature difference between this sensing junction and the other ends is the critical factor.

Because the temperature at this end of the thermocouple wires is a reference temperature. . • It is also quite often referred to as the cold junction. the reference junction in such case in indeed the colder of two junctions.Thermocouples • When the other ends are kept at room temperature. the junction here with the equipment terminals or with other connecting wires is known as the reference junction. the temperature is monitored and the thermocouple output voltage reading are corrected for any changes in room temperature. Because the thermocouple is frequently used for measuring high temperature.

Thermocouples T2 = the temperature of the cold or reference junction .



. • That is. their resistance decrease as their temperature rises.Thermistors • A thermistors is a semiconductor made and have a negative temperature coefficient. • Resistance at 25°C for typical unit range is 100 to over 10M  .

Thermistors • Thermistors – use materials with a high thermal coefficient of resistance – sensitive but highly non-linear A typical disc thermistor A threaded thermistor .

not metals • often composite of a ceramic and a metallic oxide (Mn. A. Co. Cu or Fe) – typically have negative temperature coefficients ECE 480. Mason .Thermistors • Thermistors (“thermally sensitive resistor”) – formed from semiconductor materials. Prof.


Both silicon and type selenium types are known. • The photovoltaic cell or “solar cells” will produce an electrical current when connected to a load. • In this type of device. . which is used in photocells. and they create different types of transducers.Photoelectric Transducers • There are several different phenomena for measuring light. • A photoelectric effect that has proved very useful is the photoconductive effect. the electrical resistance of the material varies with the amount of light striking it.

but the voltage produced is not linearly related to light intensity A typical photodiode .Photoelectric Transducers • Photovoltaic – light falling on a pn-junction can be used to generate electricity from light energy (as in a solar cell) – small devices used as sensors are called photodiodes – fast acting.

but respond like the human eye A light-dependent resistor (LDR) . but simply change their resistance – photodiode (as described earlier) can be used in this way to produce a linear device – phototransistors act like photodiodes but with greater sensitivity – light-dependent resistors (LDRs) are slow.Photoelectric Transducers • Photoconductive – such devices do not produce electricity.


Resistive position transducer • Known as POTENTIOMETER • Uses electrical resistance as a means of measuring position. . • A wiper moves along the strip. Figure 9. from which it picks up voltage. • A constant voltage is applied across the conductive strip. • An electrical circuit is established between the two ends of the conductive strip of material.

and wiper current. the user is responsible for ensuring that appropriate electrical parameters are evaluated. • These parameters include . • The output of a resistive sensor is ratiometric to the voltage the user applies.Resistive position transducer • Voltage increases as the wiper moves closer to the positive end of the strip. power dissipation. as it relates to the input impedance of the . • Because resistive sensors are not generally provided with any form of signal conditioning electronics.but are not limited to excitation voltage.

aspx .com/engineering/mec hanical/articles/42103.brighthub.References • http://www.

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