Measurements of force, pressure and torque are important to most manufacturing sectors. However, while the sensors used to make these measurements (transducers) are calibrated in static conditions, they are often used in dynamic conditions, where force, pressure and torque vary with time, often varying over large ranges very rapidly. For example, an increase in fuel injection pressure in vehicle engines increases fuel efficiency and enables the development of cleaner cars. On ignition, pressures within engines rise several hundred-fold within a fraction of a second, and accurate measurement of this fast-changing pressure is needed to develop innovative and competitive products. In the energy sector, accurate assessment of rapidly-changing force, pressure and torque is needed to improve monitoring of safety-critical systems.
This project developed methods for calibrating dynamic measurements of force, pressure and torque. The project developed and extended the range of validated calibration methods and devices, traceable to primary standards, for a variety of force, pressure and torque transducers operating in dynamic modes. As a result of the project:
- Force transducers can now be calibrated against primary standards for periodic measurement variations with frequency ranges up to 1 kHz and force amplitudes up to 10 kN.
- Methods to calibrate pressure transducers for dynamic measurements of shock pressures with amplitudes up to 500 MPa and transducers for periodic torque were investigated and new services will be available in the near future.
- Methods to calibrate amplifiers used in the dynamic mode traceable to national standards were developed.
- Mathematical and statistical models were developed that estimate measurement uncertainties of dynamic measurements throughout the calibration chain.
The project outputs are already in use in the industrial and standardisation communities. Transducer manufacturers are using the improved calibration capabilities at NMIs and a transfer standard developed in the project is expected to become a commercial product. The methodology for calibrating sensor amplifiers has been incorporated into a German DKD guideline and an ISO draft standard, and a supplement to the international Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement is planned. A web-based best practice guide providing practical information for engineers and technicians in industry is also available. Wider uptake of project results will, ultimately, allow European industry to accurately measure and control forces, pressures and torques, to support product and process innovation.
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