Science and Technology

3-in-1 sensor for industrial use

| Updated on April 11, 2021

The ‘Portable Rheology and Temperature Sensor’ (PoRTS) can measure temperature, density and viscosity simultaneously

Researchers at IIT Madras have developed a sensor that can measure three parameters that are crucial in many industrial processes — temperature, density and viscosity. The ‘Portable Rheology and Temperature Sensor’ (PoRTS) can measure all three parameters simultaneously. At present, most industries use three different sensors, which increases inefficiency. Prof Krishnan Balasubramaniam, Head of the Centre for Nondestructive Evaluation, says: “The challenge is finding sensors to measure these properties on an industrial scale. When glass is heated at 800°C, polymers at 200°C, aluminium at 500°C, or steel at 1,400°C, how do I measure the temperature, density and viscosity at a single or multiple location using a single sensor? That is the problem our researchers set out to solve.” Manufacturing processes, such as glass, have solid-to-liquid transitions, or vice versa, and measuring these transitions is vital for increasing efficiency. The success of the product is determined by its viscosity and density. As their properties change with temperature, it was vital to measure temperature as well. Commercially available sensors operate at relatively low temperatures but this device goes as high as 1,400°C.

Published on April 11, 2021

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