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LVDT

Linear Variable Differential


Transformers
Jason Hart

CEE 498

This presentation covers:


How

LVDTs work
Types of LVDTs
AC vs. DC LVDTs
Applications to Structural
Engineering
Costs

How LVDTs Work

Types of LVDTs
Unguided
Captive

Armature

Armature

Spring-extended

Armature

Unguided Armature
Measured Object
Armature must be
attached to the specimen
Armature fits loosely
in the bore
Body must be separately
supported & properly aligned
Elevation/Cross-Section View

Unguided Armature
There

is no wear on the LVDT because no


contact is made between armature and
bore.
LVDT does not restrict the resolution of
measured data (infinite resolution).
Measured Motion

Elevation/Cross-Section View

Unguided Armature
Well-suited

for short-range, high-speed


applications (vibration)
Measured Motion

time

displ.

Elevation/CrossSection View

Captive Armature
Measured Object
Armature must be attached to
the specimen
Armature is both guided and
restrained by a low friction assembly
Body must be separately supported

Captive Armature
Advantages compared to unguided armature:

Better for longer working ranges

Preferred

when misalignment may occur

Spring-Extended Armature
Measured Object

Like the captive armature, it has


a low-friction bearing assembly
Internal spring to continuously
push the armature to its fullest
possible extension

Elevation/Cross-Section View

Spring-Extended Armature
The

spring-extended armature is best suited


for slow-moving applications.

Attachment

between armature and


specimen is not required.

AC vs. DC

AC LVDTs
Advantages compared to DC LVDTs:
Smaller
More
Can

size

accurate

operate within a wide temperature range

Lower

unit cost.

DC LVDTs
Advantages compared to AC LVDTs:
Ease

of installation and signal conditioning. Signal


conditioning equipment is part of the LVDT.

Can

operate from dry cell batteries

Usually

lower system cost

Applications to Structural
Engineering
LVDTs

are reliable for measuring member


deflection in many structural engineering
experiments.

LVDTs

can measure displacement response


directly in dynamic experiments.

Mounting

is critical.

the LVDT to a stationary location

Costs Unguided Armature LVDT


An LVDT with a 3 range purchased from
Macrosensors, Inc. in quantities of one or
two:
Costs

$330 for AC.

Costs

$485 for DC.

Costs Spring Extended Armature


LVDT
An LVDT with a +/- 2 range purchased from
Macrosensors, Inc. in quantities of one or
two:
Costs

$1156 for AC.

Costs

$1359 for DC.

In general, costs of LVDTs range from $50 to $1600,


without considering specialty LVDTs such as
hermetically sealed.

Summary
LVDTs

are robust equipment for measuring


deflection.
AC LVDTs require separate signal conditioning
equipment, while DC LVDTs include signal
conditioning equipment on the device.
There are three types of LVDT: unguided
armature, captive armature, and spring-extended
armature.
AC LVDTs cost less than DC, but the entire
measurement system must be considered.

References
Figure on slide 3 (How LVDTs work):
http://www.daytronic.com/products/trans/lvdt/default.htm
Figure on slide 12 (AC vs. DC):
http://www.macrosensors.com/ms-lvdt_faq-tutorial.html
Cost information obtained from Microsensors, Inc.

Links to LVDT manufacturers found in report by Tjen Nung


Tjhin updated on April 24, 2001.