There are a wide range of variables that have a major impact on our lives such as the pace of a car, the temperature in a house, and the speed of wind. Though often overlooked, these variables are continuously monitored by electronic devices called transducers in various settings. In fact, any device that can transform one type of energy into another is referred to as a transducer. Electrical transducers in particular convert physical quantities into electrical ones, one example being the conversion of voltage into electrical current.
Generally, the primary quantities that transducers work with are temperature, pressure, level, or displacement. For instance, a temperature transducer converts temperature into an equivalent electrical signal and uses this signal to control the temperature and display it. Other common examples of transducers you may encounter on a day-to-day basis include speakers, microphones, solar cells, incandescent light bulbs, and electric motors. For their design, all transducers consist of two essential parts: the sensing element and the transducing element.
The sensing or detector element is the part of the system that receives and transmits a response to a physical sensation. The second critical part of the transducer is the transducing element, often known as the secondary transducer in some texts. The transducing element’s primary responsibility is to convert the output of the sensing element into an electrical signal. Other elements that make up a transducer’s construction include the power supply calibration portion, signal processing component, and amplifier.
The most asked question about transducers is whether they are considered sensors. While both a sensor and a transducer are used to detect changes in an environment or an item they are attached to, a sensor will produce the same output format, while a transducer will turn the measurement into an electrical signal. Now that we have covered this integral difference, there are some influential factors to keep in mind when measuring physical quantities, those of which we will outline in the next section.
Transducers are often selected based on their operating principles, and the mentioned principle may be inductive, resistive, optoelectronic, piezoelectric, capacitive, etc.
The sensitivity of a transducer indicates how fit it is for inducing a detectable output.
To ensure your transducer does not break during operation, it should have the capacity to function in an array of operating ranges.
Compatibility with the Environment
Transducers should be able to operate in any specific environment, such as in corrosive settings, high pressure areas, and spaces that experience excessive shock.
Insensitivity to Unwanted Signals
An important characteristic of transducers is their ability to ignore undesired and highly sensitive signals.
Once calibrated properly, transducers provide exceptional accuracy and have little value for repeatability, which is necessary for technical applications.
Due to their innate sensitivity, transducers provide variable measured values for different planes. To obtain precise measurements, cross-sensitivity is essential.
Failures or Errors
Errors are avoided by keeping track of the input-output relations that the transfer function achieves.
Transducers have significant input impedance and small output impedance for withdrawing errors.
Usage and Ruggedness
Before narrowing down your search for the perfect transducer, you must consider its durability, size, and weight.
Reliability and Stability
The transducer you select should be fairly reliable, meaning that it should not fail in the middle of operation.
Any transducer you are working with should have large linearity and resolution but weak hysteresis, and it should remain free from the effects of varying temperatures and loads.
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