Eddy current principle applied to high temperature measuring applications
05 January 2016
The Technology Partnership (TTP), a technology and product development company, has devised a non-contact solution to the measurement of high temperatures.
The patent-pending inductive technique has been used over temperature ranges of several hundred degrees Celsius with an accuracy of 1°C and could replace existing contact methods such as thermocouples and the use of infrared.
Researchers at TTP applied the traditional principle that applying an alternating current to a coil will induce eddy currents in nearby metallic objects; an effect commonly used in proximity sensors and non-destructive testing, looking for cracks or voids in material, for example. However, it has exploited the fact that the flow of eddy currents is also dependent on the material’s temperature and can be used to provide a new approach to non-contact temperature sensing.
Using a special coil arrangement, sensing methodology and algorithm to detect and measure the induced eddy currents, TTP researchers have been able to implement inductive temperature sensing of targets in a range of challenging environments, through metal barriers and even in applications where the geometry of the target material is unknown.
“Inductive temperature sensing is ideal for applications where contact methods are not reliable and where lack of line-of-sight access, variable emissivity or high cost limit the use of infrared techniques,” said Dr David Pooley, senior consultant at TTP. “Because of the simplicity of applying the technology in practical environments, it could also be used in low-cost consumer applications.
“We are continuing with practical trials to refine the process and explore new applications and are already getting interest from potential partners to commercialise the technology and take it to market.”
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