Inductance position sensor for pneumatic cylinder
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The position of the piston in pneumatic cylinder with aluminum wall can be measured by external inductance sensor without modifications of the aluminum piston and massive iron piston rod. For frequencies below 20 Hz the inductance is increasing with inserting rod due to the rod permeability. This mode has disadvantage of slow response to piston movement and also high temperature sensitivity. At the frequency of 45 Hz the inductance is position independent, as the permeability effect is compensated by the eddy current effect. At higher frequencies eddy current effects in the rod prevail, the inductance is decreasing with inserting rod. In this mode the sensitivity is smaller but the sensor response is fast and temperature stability is better. We show that FEM simulation of this sensor using measured material properties gives accurate results, which is important for the sensor optimization such as designing the winding geometry for the best linearity.
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