Using Torque Sensors in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry has been be part of our nation’s lifeblood since the turn of the 20th century. For nearly 200 years, vehicles have continued to embody innovation. While many drivers may be concerned with the appearance of their vehicle, others care about mechanical facets. Horsepower, torque, and fuel efficiency are just some of the elements that other drivers and automobile engineers must consider. But before adjustments can be made to these categories, data involving them must first be recorded. With the advent of power steering, the torque transducer, also known as a torque sensor or torque meter, has become integral to the automobile industry. Advancements in torque sensors allow engineers to measure the capabilities of vehicles down to thousandths of a percent. Torque transducers have applications across the board. One area they are extremely prevalent in is the automotive industry. Generally, torque transducers are used in coordination with strain gauges. The pairing of both objects offers a duality that sheds light on inner workings of a vehicle’s components.

Torque Transducer Applications

Torque sensors harken back to the mid-1800s where they were first used to measure atmospheric pressure. Today, torque transducers have evolved into precise measuring devices. Torque meters work by receiving and converting a torsional mechanical input into a readable electrical output signal.  Most automobile manufacturers use torque transducers for calibrating automatic transmissions and for mapping engine torque. These are essential steps in the initial process of developing and manufacturing automobiles. Torque sensors can also be utilized when recording the torque of a rotating systems like crankshafts, gearboxes, rotors, bicycle cranks, suspension systems, breaks, powertrains  and cap torque testers. Findings yielded by these torque sensors can pinpoint the acceleration of a vehicle. Torque sensors allow engineers to collect valuable data on both static and dynamic torque. These findings can be applied to  future development and lead to a deeper understanding of elements like towing capacity or crash safety.

Types of Torque Sensors

Torque is a rotational force, or a force through a distance. While all torque sensors share a commonality in measuring torque itself, torque transducers can be broken down into two main categories. The first is a reaction torque transducer. The functionality of reaction torque meters rely on Newton’s third law of motion. Simply put, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For instance, it can measure how much force is needed to stop a motor from turning based on the accurate reading gathered from the motor while it was in use. Reaction torque sensors are used to measure static torque. Static torque is that which has no angular acceleration. There are inline and torque sensors, in addition to the rotary types mentioned above, which are used for testing the clutch gearboxes, and similar components. Inline torque transducers are located between two torque-carrying modules. Because an inline sensor can be placed as near as possible to the device being measured, it can minimize measurement errors. Eliminating room for error ensure the most complex readings. The lesser the margin or error, the more reputability the products has.

The second type of torque transducer is a rotary torque sensor. Rotary torque sensors measure dynamic torque. In a simple justification, dynamic torque is any that involves acceleration. Rotary torque transducers are rooted in Newton’s second law regarding mass and acceleration. So, if one were to measure the dynamic torque produced by a vehicle’s crankshaft, then they can expect to observe fluctuations as each cylinder fires and its piston rotates the crankshaft.

For manufacturing purposes, you can find custom or standard models of torque transducers. You can also find OEM torque sensors, which are helpful for guaranteeing compatibility with other parts of specific makes and models of automobiles. Naturally, which torque measurement transducers will be best suited for your needs will determined by a multitude of factors. Determining what type of torsional force you are attempting to measure is the best way to first approach the situation.

 

By | 2018-07-07T23:02:17+00:00 July 7th, 2018|True Sensors|