Widely used in industry, transducers convert signals from one form of energy to another and show the conversion in the new form. Any kind of energy, including electrical, mechanical, electromagnetic (including light), chemical, acoustic, or thermal energy, can be transformed into another so that the change is detectable. For example, a thermostat shows how hot or cold it is by measuring temperature and showing it on a mechanical or digital readout. A microphone transforms the energy of sound into electrical energy. Gauges on vehicles, appliances, and instruments display pressure, temperature, volume, speed, and many others variables.
Types Of Transducers
Two types of transducers, actuators and sensors, handle the process of converting energy and exhibiting the output. As the names imply, the actuator does the energy conversion, while the sensor detects the change. An electric motor is an actuator that turns electrical energy into motion, while a gauge on the housing might reflect revolutions per minute. Some combination transducers both perform and detect action.
Properties That Transducers Measure
The type of energy change and the properties a sensor picks up vary by what are considered appropriate measurements for each energy type. Multiple sensors can pick up measurements for different properties common to certain energy types, such as:
- Acoustic: Wave, amplitude, polarization, spectrum, velocity
- Electric: Charge, current, potential, voltage, electric field, conductivity, permittivity
- Magnetic: Magnetic field, flux, permeability
- Optical: Wave, including amplitude, phase, polarization, spectrum, velocity, refractive induction, emissivity, reflectivity, absorption
- Thermal: Temperature, flux, specific heat, conductivity
- Mechanical: Position, acceleration, force, stress, pressure, stress, mass, density, moment, torque, shape, roughness, orientation, stiffness, compliance, crystallinity, structural
Industries That Use Magnetic Transducers
Using coils wrapped around magnetic material to create a magnetic field when current is pulled through it, magnetic transducers convert the energy in the magnetic field to mechanical energy. Magnetic transducers are used in many industries, such as automotive, boiler and pressure vessels, railroad, metal manufacturing and processing, and pipelines, to detect structural cracks, inspect welds, detect flaws, and determine the condition of parts.
Other industries rely on piezo electric transducers, which incorporate ceramics technology and the piezoelectric principle by directly converting electrical energy into electrical energy. Though piezo transducers work with a wider range of materials and sizes, magnetic ones are superior for conditions below freezing, in dry environments, and where it is important that the transducer does not come into contact with what is being measured.
Buying The Right Transducer
Selecting the right magnetic transducer is important to insure that you have the right properties for your application. You may find standard products available that meet your specs, but often you need a custom product with the right balance of design and materials.
By working with ISL Products International, which works with a worldwide network of providers, you will obtain the design expertise, product quality, and fast delivery schedule you need. Contact us today to discuss your project or a quote.