Torque Transducers

Written by Stephanie Dula
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Torque is a force that produces a twisting or rotating motion, and this force can be converted to a proportional output value by a torque transducer for a variety of purposes. Most commonly a torque transducer is used as part of a sensor that is used to measure the power of an engine or motor. Manufacturers also utilize these sensors as a quality control method by monitoring the torque present in fastening and screwing mechanisms.

Types of Torque Sensors

There are two basic types of torque sensors available on the market today. A rotary torque sensor employs the use of a rotating transducer, while a reaction torque sensor consists of a stationary one. A rotating torque transducer is typically mounted directly on the shaft of the manufacturing component.

Torque causes a shaft to be deflected a proportionate distance from its original location. This distance can be measured through a variety of means, including proximity to a stationary sensor as well as by magnetoelastic sensors. Strain gauges are also widely used in torque measurement instruments.

In fact, strain gauges were the major sensing elements in some of the first torque measurement devices ever designed. It takes at least two gauges to measure torque, one to measure the length of displacement in each direction. Torque measurement technology has advanced way beyond these early models to incorporate other transducers into their design, like magnetometers.

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