Monitoring the power delivered by a shaft is an important part of understanding its performance. From the initial validation that the system is operating as designed through to condition monitoring for improved reliability and efficiency, accurate measurements of shaft torque are vital.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. For applications where the shaft must have high torsional rigidity, the standard approach of attaching strain gauges directly to the shaft is unreliable as the twist experienced by the strain gauge is simply too small – perhaps as small as 0.001°.
An Oxford researcher has found a solution to the problem of reliably measuring torque in low strain (high torsional stiffness) applications which offers a number of advantages over the traditional approach:
‘strain amplifier’ technique delivers improved torque monitoring performance – critical for applications where torque measurement accuracies of the order of 0.1% are required
‘bolt-on’ solution for existing installations means improved measurement accuracy without compromising the design or performance of the existing configuration and without requiring access to the ends of the installed shaft
torque measuring equipment can be calibrated away from the shaft to minimise downtime
improved signal-to-noise ratio makes measurement possible in some environments where electrical noise prevents standard torque monitoring
can be integrated with signal conditioning and data transfer telemetry to provide a complete torque monitoring package
Broad market base
It is expected that this invention will be of particular interest to sectors involved in low strain applications and to companies already active in the torque measurement field.
The underlying technology is the subject of a UK patent application. Companies interested in progressing the commercial opportunities are invited to contact Oxford University Innovation. Request more information if you would like to discuss this further.