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Sensor Technology has presented Torqsense, which senses and measures the sound waves generated by a rotating shaft and converts them to a torque measurement.

Torqsense torque sensors use two tiny surface acoustic wave devices or SAWs made of ceramic piezoelectric material containing frequency resonating combs.

These are glued onto the drive shaft at 90 degrees to one another.

As the torque increases, the combs expand or contract proportionally to the torque being applied.

The combs act similarly to strain gauges but measure changes in resonant frequency.

The adjacent RF pick-up emits radio waves towards the SAWs, which are then reflected back.

The change in frequency of the reflected waves identifies the current torque.

This arrangement means there is no need to supply power to the SAWs, so the sensor is non-contact and wireless.

Torqsense is already in use in many liquid handling applications, in mixers, in the nuclear industry, for testing aerospace components, and for running drug trials.

It is applicable to all sizes, from dispensing active pharmaceutical ingredients, stirring industrial quantities of cook-chilled curries, to modelling storm and flood water flows.

Dry bulk handling is traditionally thought to be harder to monitor, but using Torqsense puts it on the same footing as many well-established processes.

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