The torque sensors are commonly used in different industries and automotive applications where communication reliability is a very significant concern. Additionally, the industrial torque sensor provides operating stability in harsh environments. In addition, the growing application of torque sensors in vertical healthcare and the growth in the use of torque sensors in industrial applications give lucrative opportunities to the industry over the years to come.
What are torque sensors?
A torque sensor, a torque transducer, or a torque meter is a tool for calculating and monitoring torque on a moving system such as an engine, a crankshaft, a gearbox, a motor, a rotor, a bicycle crank or a torque tester. The static torque is fairly easy to calculate. Dynamic torque, on the other hand, is not straightforward to calculate, because it usually involves the movement of some effect (electric, hydraulic or magnetic) from the shaft being tested to the static device.
One way to achieve so is to treat a shaft or a component connected to a shaft with a set of permanent magnetic domains. The magnetic properties of these domains can differ based on the applied torque and can thus be determined using non-contact sensors. These magnetoelastic torque sensors are commonly used for in-vehicle applications in road vehicles, automobiles, aircraft, and hovercraft.
Usually, torque sensors or torque transducers use pressure gauges connected to a moving shaft or axle. With this process, it is important to provide the means to control the strain gauge bridge, as well as the means to obtain the signal from the spinning shaft. This can be achieved using slip rings, cellular telemetry, or rotary transformers. Newer types of torque transducers connect the conditioning electronics and the A/D converter to the rotary shaft.
Types of torque sensors:
Reaction torque sensors
For certain applications, the torque measured by a for-line rotary torque sensor can be determined at the point where the torque is transmitted to the ground with a torque sensor. The torque sensor has two flanges of mounting. One face is fixed to the ground or the rigid structural component and the other to the rotating shaft or the revolving portion.
Rotation generates shear forces between the flanges, which are recorded by the foil strain gauges connected to the sensor beams and transduced by the Wheatstone Bridge into electrical current. For a particular application, the torque sensor is always less robust and thus less costly than the rotary torque sensor.
Rotary torque sensors
Rotary torque sensors are used in applications where calculations must be done on a moving shaft or a stationary motor. In this case, the torque sensor must rotate in-line to the shaft. The rotary torque sensor is equipped with a slip ring or portable circuitry to relay the torque signal when spinning. Rotary Torque Sensors are commonly used as test/audit tools for motors, control machines, turbines, and generators. It can also be used to track feedback, measure the torque, and assess the efficacy of the test stands.
The rotary torque sensor is coupled between the engine and the pump. When the engine rotates, the Torque Sensor calculates the torque produced by the engine in response to the load applied to the spinning shaft. Any of the rotary torque sensors are fitted with built-in encoders. These encoders calculate the angle/speed produced during the test. Torsion measurements can be effectively tracked on a local digital display such as a Panel Mount Display, a Hand-Held Display, linked to a PLC, or transmitted to a PC using a wireless USB device.
Torque sensors and their applications:
Aerospace and defense applications
With increased demands for better health, control, and pilot operations, aerospace industries will find robust and effective sensor solutions. With extensive expertise in the research and production of aerospace force sensors, the TE range of rugged environmental force sensors allows OEMs to calculate force and torque in high precision flight controls, actuation systems, and braking systems. TE’s robust bonded foil strain gauge based force sensors are custom-made to meet customers’ exacting demands for different aerospace applications.
In an attempt to improve product consistency, businesses have developed more sophisticated research methods for goods. In this particular case of robotic product monitoring, there are two major benefits to the use of this type of cell. Firstly, the versatility that the robot offers enables the displacement of all the static parts of the product test line. This means a robot that can respond to a range of items. Second, the use of a force-torque sensor helps you to provide repeatable and recordable force data that can be tracked and modified accordingly. This allows quality assurance to spot possible defects more easily and to recognize the required improvements needed to produce the desired product performance.
Torque sensors have been used in a variety of applications in the automobile industry. Rotary torque sensors are used for strain measurement, clutch and gearbox checking, and dynamic torque monitoring within the vehicle. In addition, powertrain, brake, and suspension systems are checked using torque sensors, which are also used to measure horsepower in order to improve fuel efficiency.
Several automotive manufacturers use in-vehicle torque sensors for engine torque monitoring and automatic transmission adjustment. In addition, torque sensors are used in vehicle and consumer monitoring so that engineers can gather data under usual (or extraordinary-in the case of an accident) conditions.
What’s trending in the torque sensors technology?
Emerging Application of Torque Sensor in the Healthcare Vertical
Technological advances in torque sensor technology provide the medical devices and equipment both innovative and additional features. In addition, the medical sector is experiencing the fastest growth due to torque sensor, as it is capable of delivering accurate results in robotic surgical systems, pharmaceutical tablet shape, surgical stapler processing, fitness, rehabilitation equipment, and others. The torque sensors also offer medical facilities in rural and underdeveloped areas through telemedicine. These factors have been anticipated to provide lucrative market expansion opportunities. Technological
Rising demand for torque sensor for electric power steering (EPS) systems
Hydraulic power-assisted steering is being gradually replaced by electric power steering (EPS) in various new vehicle designs. Progress in fuel economy has largely motivated the use of electric motors to power the steering rack on the market for passenger vehicles. Larger vehicles need a much higher torque to offer steering assistance, and the need to guarantee the reliability of vehicles subject to much higher kilometers, heavier loads, and more frequent use than passenger cars. Due to these factors, issues begin to arise.
In addition, some of these applications for commercial or industrial vehicles are likely to adopt autonomous or semi-autonomous driving technologies earlier than regular road vehicles, rendering EPS a prerequisite. It has also been applied in factories and warehouses, where driverless cars rapidly replace forklift trucks, operating completely under computer control. Likewise, the delivery of long-haul freight is an early choice.
Development of Torque Sensor with High Sensitivity for Joint of Robot Manipulator
The torque sensor is used to calculate a robot manipulator’s joint torque. Previous work has demonstrated that the sensitivity and stiffness of the torque sensors have trade-off characteristics. Stiffness needs to be lost to increase the sensor’s response. To solve this problem, a new high-sensitivity torque sensor (TSHS) has been proposed.
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The fundamental concept of the TSHS is its 4-bar linkage shape, in which the angular displacement of a short link is greater than that of a long link. The performance of the 4-bar torque sensor is increased without reducing the stiffness. Optimization methods are used to improve sensor sensitivity. The actual TSHS is structured to confirm the validity of the proposed mechanism. Experimental tests reveal that the TSHS sensitivity can be raised 3.5 times without losing stiffness.
Future of torque sensors
The SG technology is expected to be the main option for torque sensors in the future. Through making the electronics smaller and electrically more robust, the sensors can be equipped for higher spring rates, which contribute to better measurement dynamics. Continuous improvement in the amplifier technology enables the smallest measuring signals to be accurately and practically error-free. Improved measuring signal stability may also be used to ensure greater precision of the test equipment model. Intelligent sensors with processed metrological data are also a part of the future, whereby measurements are more accurate and quality control data can be collected directly from the sensor.