January 14, 2010
No-Sweat Pressure Sensors
Microelectronic chips used to take pressure readings are very delicate. A new technology has been developed that makes pressure sensors more robust, enabling them to continue operating normally at temperatures up to 250 degrees Celsius.
The drill bit gradually burrows deeper into the earth, working its way through the rock. Meanwhile, dozens of sensors are busily engaged in tasks such as taking pressure readings and evaluating porosity. The conditions they face are extreme, with the sensors being required to withstand high temperatures and pressures as well as shocks and vibrations. The sensors send the data to the surface to help geologists with work such as searching for oil deposits.
There is a broad range of potential applications, with engineers hoping to use the high-temperature pressure sensors not only in the petrochemical environment, but also in automobile engines and geothermal applications.
Image Caption: The new pressure sensor works at temperatures of up to 250 degrees Celsius. (Ã© Fraunhofer IMS)
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