Sensors Measure Compression of Bamboo Posted in: AR700 Laser Displacement Sensor – Tags: ,

A journey to India brings us a novel application to measure compression with a laser distance sensor. Even in a part of the world that tends to value the manual efforts of its labor force, there is a strong recognition for precision, non-contact measurements afforded by the latest in sensor technology.

The Center for Rural Development and Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi thoroughly investigated the use of laser displacement sensors to measure the strain of samples during a particular materials testing experiment.

The Center was tasked with the evaluation of bamboo as a primary construction support material for use in projects in the most rural parts of India. Students within the Mechanical Engineering Department devised an experiment to test the compressive strength of bamboo.

In their setup, they were using dial gauges which tended to “jump” as the force was increased during the experiment.  The group investigated the laser displacement sensor (Acuity model AR700) to measure the relative movement of two plates that moved together as the sample became compressed. They required laser sensors with a long standoff so that it would not get harmed if the bamboo failed and shattered.

The optoelectronic laser sensor with its analog output permitted the continuous acquisition of the distance output relative to other experimental variables. The video shows the setup of the experiment. In the footage, the engineer adjusts the load by controlling the speed of a hydraulic piston controlled by an electric motor.  The instantaneous position of the sample chuck is indicated on the visual Touch Panel Display.

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AR700 Laser Displacement Sensor

The AR700 laser displacement sensor is Acuity’s top of the line, most precise, laser triangulation sensor. The AR700 series contains models with measurement ranges from 0.125 inches up to 50 inches and resolutions as low as one-sixth of a micron. With sampling speeds up to 9.4kHz and linearity to within 0.03% of the measurement range, the AR700 is a versatile sensor for many challenging applications.