Hybrid Sensors: What are they and how do you get them?
Hybrid Sensors are small, typically planar, beams with strain gages applied to form a transducer. A major advantage for a product or system designer is that the labor-intensive work of bonding and wiring a strain gage is already completed!
These transducers can be designed to convert physical variables such as force, weight, acceleration, pressure, and displacement into a mV signal, or with optional integrated amplifiers, into a high-level voltage output. Any physical phenomenon that can place the beam into bending can potentially be converted into a proportional signal out of the transducer and calibrated into engineering units of interest.
Hybrid Sensors can provide transducer solutions that can be integrated into products or to add a sensing capability in process control applications.
Hybrid Sensors can measure small forces and weight by direct loading and calibration.
Hybrid Sensors are used to measure pressure by the deflection of the beam due to pressure in a tube or flexible bladder.
Displacement can be measured using Hybrid Sensors. The illustration below shows a wedge and roller used with a hybrid sensor to measure displacement.
In the illustration below, a cam is used along with a Hybrid Sensor to create a sensor to measure angle.
In addition to physical measurements, the signal of the Hybrid Sensor can be used for control applications, such as controlling the speed and direction of a motor or servo proportional to the magnitude and direction of the signal output from the Hybrid Sensor.
Each Hybrid Sensor design is unique. Since the dimensions, mounting methods, load and deflection magnitude differ by application, each Hybrid Sensor is created as a sensor solution for the given set of requirements. So, how do you get a Hybrid Sensor integrated into your product or application?
The process of creating a Hybrid Sensor solution begins with the imagination and creativity of the product designer.The designer will look at the mechanics of a device where sensing is desired.If the device can be designed so that the mechanics can produce a deflection of a small beam, then a Hybrid Sensor may be a solution in adding sensing capability.The designer would then envision how the physical variable can produce a deflection of a beam and how the planar Hybrid Sensor might be mounted to the product or device being developed.
The next step is to produce a drawing or sketch of the Hybrid Sensor idea.The sketch should show the rough dimensions, mounting holes or geometry related to mounting, and also show how the load or deflection is applied to the sensor.
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With the design envisioned, sketched, and dimensioned, the foundation exists for discussion of the finer details, design, and quoting of a Hybrid Sensor.