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Sensor Technology: digital torque monitoring technology

Published by , Digital Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Sensor Technology’s offering to the coal handling and transportation industry is built around its non-contact digital torque monitoring technology. Applied to the control systems for conveyors, it can transform these processes into accurately monitored and optimally managed systems.

Accurate monitoring of torque is a key indicator of impending mechanical problems. The data can also be used to ensure conveyors are being run at optimum speeds, and that mechanical shocks are being minimised.

Traditionally torque data has been hard to collect, with wired technologies vulnerable to the challenging environmental conditions inherent in coal handling operations, while also being expensive and difficult to set up. Wireless technology offers an important alternative that is being recognised as a real enabler for monitoring torque in even the most demanding applications.

The company’s TorqSense transducer is based on the patented technology of measuring the resonant frequency change of surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices. TorqSense torque sensors use two tiny SAW devices or SAWs made of ceramic piezoelectric material containing frequency resonating combs. These are glued onto the drive shaft at 90 degrees to one another. As the torque increases the combs expand or contract proportionally to the torque being applied. In effect the combs act similarly to strain gauges but measure changes in resonant frequency.

The adjacent RF (radio frequency) device transmits radio waves towards the SAWs, which are then reflected back and picked up by the device. The change in frequency of the reflected waves identifies the current torque. This arrangement means there is no need to supply power to the SAWs, so the sensor is non-contact and wireless.

TorqSense has seen widespread adoption in torque monitoring applications across a host of industries.

Edited from press release by

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