Sensor hones in on sharp operators

Paul Boughton

Risk is being driven out of the use of heavy duty diamond cutting tools thanks to EU-backed research at Greenwich University.

At the heart of this work is a torque sensor from Sensor Technology, which proved to be the only effective way of torque measurement of the true torque in the rotating saw blades and drill bits. In order to profile the performance of each tool, the torque of the blade or cutting tip is measured as it rotates; and for this a non-contact sensor using Rayleigh Waves or surface acoustic waves (SAWs) is used.

To measure torque, two sensors are bonded to a shaft at 45° to the axis of rotation.
When the shaft is subjected to torque, a signal is produced which is transmitted to a stationary pick up via a rotating capacitive couple. In recent times more demanding operating standards have become legal requirements, while the number of poorer quality tools imported from outside the EU has risen. 

Sensor Technology Ltd is based in Bicester, Oxfordshire.


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