Thursday 25 March 2010

LVDTs successfully monitor structures in marine environments

Waves of the Irish Coast: Caisleán Nua.Monitoring cracks in structures in coastal environments such as sea-walls, harbours and tunnels calls for transducers that are precise, robust and can withstand the corrosive marine atmosphere.

RDP Electronics Ltd has decades of experience in providing Linear Variable Differential Transducers (LVDTs) that provide accurate measurement of even the smallest movement in cracks, to provide essential diagnostic data that can be used to determine the cause and where necessary prompt appropriate remedial action.

To combat the corrosive atmosphere in marine locations that can be more aggressive than total immersion in seawater due to the combination of saline water and oxygen that accelerates corrosion, it is essential to specify stainless steel transducers. For long-term tests, 316 stainless steel generally recognised as ‘marine grade’ stainless steel is preferred and usually LVDTs are additionally specified as rated up to IP68 and 230 bar.

LVDTs which are unguided types, rather than captive, are mounted on pins drilled either side of the crack. Locations often call for long cable runs from the LVDT’s location to instrumentation, which is achievable due to the 4 – 20mA output of the transducer.

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