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Embedded coil technology improves temperature stability of displacement sensors

19 July 2010

Micro-Epsilon has developed a novel technology for use with eddy current and capacitive displacement sensors. The new technologies and manufacturing methods enable a wide variety of custom sensors to be produced, which are not only capable of operating at higher temperatures, but which also benefit from low thermal expansion (thermal drift) and extremely compact conditioning electronics.

The new Embedded Coil Technology (ECT) represents an advance in eddy current sensor design and manufacture that enables  previous limitations to be overcome. The ultra-compact design and use of new inorganic materials in its construction, means the new eddyNCDT ECT sensors provide almost unlimited scope in terms of the external design and geometrical shape.

EddyNCDT ECT sensors offer mechanical robustness to ensure longer service intervals and higher temperature stability. In addition, the complete circuit electronics can now be integrated into the sensor itself, providing an even more compact measurement device for OEMs and machine builders. The sensors are also suitable for harsh operating environments, including high vibration, impact shocks and high operating temperatures as high as 350 deg C.

Sensors have been produced with extremely low thermal drift and with temperature errors of less than 20ppm/K (parts per million per degree Kelvin).

As well as eddy current sensors, Micro-Epsilon has also designed capacitive displacement sensors that make use of ECT. The capaNCDT ECT sensors are manufactured using a new type of production process. Similar to the eddy current ECT method, by embedding the electronic components in an extremely stable carrier material, significantly better temperature stability can be achieved compared to conventional capacitive displacement sensors.

CapaNCDT ECT sensors can withstand operating temperatures as high as 200 deg C, as well as very low temperatures down to –269 deg C. Similar to eddyNCDT ECT sensors, the capacitive versions are extremely compact. Micro-Epsilon’s capaNCDT CSH-FL, for example, has an installation height of just 4mm.

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