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Inertial transducers based on the use of ferrofluids as inertial mass can be of great interest due to their peculiarities and due to the advantages that they show when compared to traditional devices. Ferrofluids are special solutions of magnetic particles in a carrier liquid whose density and other physical features can be controlled by an external magnetic field. In this paper, the development of a ferrofluidic inclinometer, which exhibits a tunable operating range and a valuable metrological feature and an intrinsic robustness against inertial shocks, is presented. The device consists of one excitation coil and two sensing coils wound around a glass pipe where a drop of ferrofluid is contained in a water environment. The magnetic force, which is induced by the excitation coil, attracts the ferrofluidic mass in a position that depends on the device inclination. The voltage at the output of the two sensing coils is related to the ferrofluidic mass displacement and thus reflects the tilt to be measured. Analytical models, simulations, and experimental results are presented to demonstrate the suitability of the proposed approach.
Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:56 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2007