Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Newby Question on Inductive Sensor Coil Specs

  1. Oct 30, 2011 #1
    I'm an old digital guy working on a little analog oscillator project so I'm a bit in over my head. The objective is to detect alloy deviations in samples of aluminum scrap: a very simple go/no-go detector

    I've cobbled together an inductive meter design using a dual op-amp sine wave generator feeding a single coil Maxwell-Wien bridge, followed by a difference amplifier, then a full wave rectifier then a low pass filter, leaving a DC voltage to feed a couple comparators which power some display LEDs. A "known good" sample is placed on the coil, the bridge is nulled via a pot, then the test sample is placed on the coil for comparison. Green LED is good, red LED is hold for test. Easy, so far

    But the design of the of the coil is a bit confusing.

    The op amp powering the bridge can deliver 20 mA at +/- 8 Vdc using +/- 10 Vdc rails. The coil form will be in contact with the sample so there will probably be a minimal 2 mm distance offset or gap between the coil and the sample. The sample will be about 3-4 mm thick so the there needs to be good flux penetration through the sample while avoiding flux punch through to the other side. This suggests a low frequency. The sample will be a minimum of about 30 mm square which should suggest a nice big outside diameter coil for good sensitivity.

    At this point it would seem that the factors controlling the optimum coil design are more mechanical than electrical. Any suggestions on the optimum dimensions and inductance? I'll be using 18 gauge magnet wire and wind the coils myself so they can be "tuned" if required.

    I can easily match the bridge capacitance and resistances to match the coil to get the null so those specs should follow the optimum coil inductance.

    Thanks in advance...
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2011 #2

    jim hardy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    no nibbles?

    you're outside my experience base so i'll observe old adage
    "..'tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt "....

    i guess you're measuring resistivity?

    thanks for your post - i learned about the Maxwell-Wein bridge, what a neat device !

    here's a mil-standard i stumbled across thru Altavista search engine. hope it's of some help

    sounds like some of them use ferrite core. I'd have to experiment.

    http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG7p8s0q5O2iwASTMPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByYWkyZ2EwBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNwRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkAw--/SIG=13rnpbaa0/EXP=1320108716/**http%3a//www.everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD%2b(1500%2b-%2b1599)/download.php%3fspec=MIL_STD_1537C.1409.pdf [Broken]

    and a table of resistivities for lots of alloys

    if i learn something every day, should someday know something. but with age the rate of outflow is outpacing inflow.....

    good luck !!!

    old jim
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Nov 2, 2011 #3
    hmm.... I would take it he's using an rlc circuit and as the detecting coil nears the sample the effective inductance of the coil changes, either knocking the rlc circuit out of resonance or onto it?(or simliar). If so it sounds slightly like the design of a common metal detector.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook