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How does a magnetostrictive level sensor work in liquid measurement?

1 Answer

A magnetostrictive level sensor is a type of liquid level measurement device that operates based on the principle of magnetostriction. It is commonly used in various industries to accurately determine the level of liquid in tanks or containers. Here's how it works:

Basic components: A typical magnetostrictive level sensor consists of a rigid tube or rod made of a magnetostrictive material, such as nickel alloy, enclosed in a non-magnetic protective tube. The sensor is installed vertically inside the tank or container, and its length is proportional to the depth of the liquid being measured.

Magnetostriction principle: Magnetostriction is the property of certain materials to change their shape when subjected to a magnetic field. In the context of the level sensor, the magnetostrictive material in the sensor experiences a small but measurable change in length when it is exposed to a magnetic field.

Electronic transmitter: At the top of the sensor, there is an electronic transmitter unit that generates a brief electrical pulse. This pulse travels down the magnetostrictive material at the speed of sound.

Magnetic float: Inside the tank, a buoyant magnetic float is connected to a float rod. This float moves up and down with the liquid level in the tank. The float rod extends to the level of the magnetostrictive sensor.

Magnetic interaction: When the electrical pulse reaches the position of the float's magnetic field, it generates a torsional stress in the magnetostrictive material. This stress causes the material to momentarily expand and contract.

Time-of-flight measurement: The electronic transmitter records the time it takes for the torsional stress wave to return to the top of the sensor after the electrical pulse was generated. By measuring the time of flight, the sensor can precisely determine the position of the float and, subsequently, the liquid level in the tank.

Output and calibration: The level sensor's electronic transmitter processes the time-of-flight data and converts it into a level measurement. This measurement can be displayed on a local indicator or transmitted to a control system for further processing or monitoring.

Advantages of magnetostrictive level sensors include their high accuracy, reliability, and suitability for various types of liquids, including corrosive and harsh substances. They are commonly used in applications where precise liquid level measurement is critical, such as in chemical processing, fuel storage, and water treatment plants.
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