Leading manufacturer of ceramic components Morgan Technical Ceramics ElectroCeramics (MTC ElectroCeramics) has launched a new ultrasonic sensor which gives accurate gas flow measurement. SMART metering is fast becoming recognised as an important way to improve efficiency of utility supplies; and the company's piezoceramic sensors are enabling process managers and original equipment manufacturers to increase reliability and accuracy of their systems.
The new sensors are 20mm in diameter and can be integrated easily in to acoustic anemometry systems and SMART metering systems for measuring natural gas usage. They are also ideal for air-coupled level measurement of liquids and solids and provide accurate information in one, two or three dimensions.
The new ultrasonic sensor uses the latest high performance piezoceramic materials. There are no moving parts in the sensor so it is not subjected to wear and is therefore more reliable than alternative methods of flow measurement. The piezoceramic sensors work by calculating the gas flow as a measurement of time of flight of sound wave through the fluid.
An inherent property of the piezoelectric ceramic material means that when an electrical signal is passed to the ceramic it will develop strain. When this occurs at high frequency it generates a sound wave. Conversely, when a sound wave comes into contact with the ceramic it will come under stress and produce an electrical signal. The flow rate can be measured by calculating the time from transmission of a pulse to the time of receiving the echo.
MTC ElectroCeramics' piezoceramic materials have exceptional mechanical and electrical properties and offer excellent bandwidth and sensitivity for accurate measurement readings. Furthermore, temperature stability of the piezoceramic materials is critical to ensure accurate measurement across the whole spectrum of ambient conditions to which a meter is typically exposed.
"There is increased global demand for SMART metering and I'm delighted we can now offer our customers a more accurate and reliable sensor," says Ewan Campbell, senior transducer engineer at MTC ElectroCeramics. "At MTC ElectroCeramics we also specialise in custom sensor and transducer design and have a dedicated transducer research and development team that works closely with customers to create bespoke sensors for specific applications.
"Using the latest tools and software, such as 3D finite element analysis, we can create virtual prototypes, which reduce development time considerably. We also have the capability to manufacture to high volumes to meet the needs of the rapidly growing SMART metering industry."
In addition, MTC ElectroCeramics designs and manufactures sensors for heat and water measurement.