Ultrasonic sensors allow continuous operation between -30°C and 160°C

Paul Boughton

Morgan Advanced Materials has developed the capability to reliably manufacture compact, lead zirconium titanate (PZT) based ultrasonic sensors for continuous operation between -30°C and 160°C.

Sensor types benefiting from Morgan’s temperature-tolerant technology include flow measurement, continuous level sensing, distance detection and ‘contact’ sensors. Ultrasonic transducers can also be supplied which are able to conduct additional analyses such as the identification of fluid ‘quality’ and chemical concentration.

As well as excellent functionality at high operational temperatures, the new sensors can tolerate wider non-operational temperature ranges and regular thermal cycling during service.

Morgan’s expertise ensures the optimal material is selected for each sensor. The material finally selected will often be chosen to fulfil multiple criteria with known heritage in comparable applications.

For example, an aerospace-qualified material rated for continuous high temperature operation up to 250°C may be selected for one application, while another material, operating at very similar temperatures in a sonar application, may be selected for its high resistance to pressure. Complimentary sensors, actuators or elements can also be incorporated at customer request to provide increased device capability and system integration.

Morgan believes that sensor operating temperature ranges could be extended even further, as Tony Beswick of Morgan explained: “Although in our recent trials we did not perform low temperature tests below -30°C, the performance of our sensors was shown to increase with a decrease in temperature. Further reductions in the bottom limit of the rated operational temperature are expected and indeed Morgan has already manufactured sensors for cryogenic applications that operate at much lower temperatures. We are keen to hear from any customer seeking reliable, high-specification sensing solutions for any extreme temperature operating environment.”