Blacksburg, VA (January 29, 2001) -- With the use of a new sensing device developed by Virginia Tech electrical engineers, energy intensive industries, including companies that specialize in transportation, power, glass, steel, and aluminum, should find that they can become less dependent on energy needs.
The use of these sensors should also reduce the emissions of pollutants.
Honeywell (formerly AlliedSignal), ABB, Howmet, and Corning are a few of the companies that have teamed with the Virginia Tech Photonics Laboratory (VTPL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help commercialize the new sensing technology.
The sensors are designed for use in harsh environments, particularly where temperatures exceed 1500C, says Anbo Wang, director of the VTLP. For example, these extremely hot environments are the hosts to jet engines, power plants, and ceramic engines that might power the autos of the future.
By placing this sensing device in a jet engine, it could monitor sound-wave pressures, and warn the pilot that the engine is on the verge of shutting down. Or, this sensor in an auto engine could keep the vehicle operating at its most efficient temperature and pressure.
The industries VTPL has teamed with are logical choices. Honeywell is the leading producer of gas turbine engines and Corning is the leading manufacturer of optical fiber, cable, and photonic products for the telecommunications industry. ABB is the worlds largest manufacturer of power generation equipment. Howmet leads the industries in the manufacturing of precision investment castings of aluminum, titanium, and superalloy for aircraft, turbine engines, and aerospace needs.
In the past, industry has primarily relied upon semiconductor pressure sensors that have several major drawbacks. These include a limited maximum operating temperature of 482C, poor reliability at high temperatures, severe sensitivity to temperature changes, and susceptibility to electromagnetic interference
Contact: Dr. Anbo Wang