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A How-To Guide
Shaft to Shaft Mounting?
Reaction or Rotary Torque?

Flange to Flange Mounting?

Environmental Conditoins?

Min, Max & Operating Torque?

mV/V, VDC or USB Output?

Slip Ring or Non Contact?

Required Resolution?

Required RPM?

Dual Range?

Important Consideration in Selecting a Torque Sensor


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The History of Strain Gauge

The History of Strain Gauge
In Early 1930s, Charles Kearns made the first notable use of bonded resistance strain gauges to measure vibratory strains in high performance propeller blades. He used carbon composite resistors (as used in standard electronic instruments) ground flat and mounted on an insulating strip. These were then cemented onto the propeller blades, and were able to indicate the dynamic strains experienced by the blades. However, these gauges were not very accurate, and due to the resistance stability with variations in time and temperature being poor, the gauges were unable to measure slowly changing or static strains.

A How-To Guide: Selecting a Torque Sensor

Last month, we began the first of a three part series on the critical factors you should consider when you are selecting a Load Cell, Torque Sensor or Pressure Sensor. We covered the guidelines for a Load Cell selection so now we move onto Torque Sensors. Before we do though, we shall emphasize that you need to take the proper steps to qualify the right company. It is very important to find a sensor provider that has the experience to support your needs and the know-how to provide the optimized solution. Find out if the company has worked with similar applications in the past. If it is a completely new application in which there is no precedence, select a company that is known for taking on these new challenges and would be able to work with you every step of the way from design to manufacturing and implementation. If you require a nonstandard product, keep in mind that your expected delivery time and cost will be based on the complexity of the requirement.

Step 1
Understanding your application and defining your requirements are a crucial part of this procedure. After you’ve clearly defined your application, define what it is you want to measure, control or monitor. Do you want to measure torque? Meaning, do you want to convert a torsional mechanical input into an electrical output signal? Application examples include:
  • Dynamometers
  • Tool dulling indicator
  • Motor control
  • Inline rotating shaft feedback
  • Monitoring mixer torque to meet required viscosity
  • Integrated servomotor or stepping motor for further automation, feed back control and verifying regulated torque in frictionless bearings and long guide wires in medical application
  • Torque wrench verification and/or calibration

Here are a few torque sensor applications that may help guide you in your selection.

Step 2
After you’ve determined that you want to measure torque, define the type of torque you want to measure – reaction torque or rotary torque. Reaction Torque Sensors have no moving parts so they pick up the reaction torque through your system. In the illustrations below you can see where the Rotary Torque Sensor would be used versus a Reaction Torque Sensor in an application involving a motor and break/clutch. Also be sure to define your size requirements (width, height, length, etc) and specification requirements (output, nonlinearity, hysteresis, creep, bridge resistance, temperature range, submersible, environment etc.)

Step 3
How will you be mounting the sensor? (Flange to flange, square drive, shaft to shaft, hex drive, etc.) Will you be using this clockwise, counterclockwise, or both? Similar to selecting a Load Cell, be sure to select the capacity over the maximum operating torque and determine all extraneous torque and over hung moments, off center prior to selecting the capacity. Note: extraneous torque and moments increase combined stress which will accelerate the fatigue and can affect the performance and accuracy if the correct Torque Sensor / transducer is not selected. For Rotary Torque Sensors you must also specify RPM and seek the assistance of tech support in for proper selection of Slip-Ring or non-contact type. You may also require sensor with built-in encoder for measuring speed and angular deflection or position.

Step 4
If you need an instrument for your application, select the instrument the same time you select the Torque Sensor. This will help you avoid non-compatibility. Also make sure the instrument sampling rate is sufficient to capture all torque changes at given RPM or break-away torque. Don’t forget to purchase system calibration with your order. This integrates your sensor and instrument as one system with NIST traceable certificate per ISO 17025, if required.

Vehicle Dynamics North America 2008 Expo (Automotive Test Expo)

Vehicle Dynamics North America 2008 Expo (Automotive Test Expo)

FUTEK will be attending the Vehicle Dynamics North America 2008 Expo (Automotive Test Expo) taking place in Novi, Michigan from October 22nd-24th. It’s a great opportunity to meet our team and get a good look at our product line. You can request tickets by contacting us or register here.

 Torque Sensor Application - Peristaltic  Pump

Torque Sensor Application - Peristaltic Pump
In the Peristaltic Pump, a stepping / stepper motor is used to create a pumping function and allow fluid to flow. A reaction torque sensor attached to the back end of the motor monitors the required torque and can relate the changes in torque to the flow rate or alarm the operator when the torque falls outside of its expected window or malfunctions. Using the torque feed back improves the efficiency of the pump and elongates its life.

Fatigue Rated Pancake Load Cell : Can now be provided in 2 mV/V output

Fatigue Rated Pancake Load Cell FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. (www.futek.com) can now provide its fatigue rated version of Pancake Load Cells LCF700 in 2.0 mV/V output: LCF701 Fatigue Rated Pancake Load Cell. FUTEK can also provide this model with a tension base. These load cells are primarily used in inline applications on actuators or threaded assembles. FUTEK currently carries these models in 1.0 mV/V output as a standard but can provide the new 2.0 mV/V output per request. Engineering Manager, Richard Walker commented that “FUTEK plans on phasing out the 1.0 mV/V standards over the next 18 months making the 2.0 mV/V output a standard.”

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Setup a Shipping Carrier for faster check outWe have recently updated the “My Account” section to allow you to store your Shipping Carrier information. This will help speed up your checkout as your default shipping carrier is automatically selected for you.

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