Newark, NJ – Mar. 7, 2012 – Lenterra, Inc. today announced the release of the new M-Series line of RealShear™ sensors. A follow-up to the flagship F-Series sensor, the M-Series line features sensors with a substantially smaller footprint. The more miniature design allows installation into equipment with tighter clearances. They are also available with much larger measurement ranges (up to 1 MPa) compared with previous sensors. Like their F-Series cousins, M-Series in-line sensors provide continuous, real-time measurement of wall shear stress at rates of up to 1,000 samples per second with no disruption of process flow. They can also be used to calculate viscosity in combination with known flow parameters. Application areas include industrial mixing, extrusion, and pipelines.
The original F-Series sensors possess a 1/4”-80 (6.4 mm diameter) threaded cylindrical housing. The M-Series housing is almost half that diameter, with a 6-80 thread (0.135 inch [3.4 mm] diameter). This smaller form factor is particularly useful when the radius of curvature of a pipe or mixer stator is small (1 inch [25 mm] diameter or less), or when the mounting location simply can’t accommodate a wider sensor. Models with large measurement ranges are well suited for high-shear mixers. M-Series sensors are offered with the same rugged design as their predecessors, and are available in both standard and high-temperature models, with maximum operating temperatures of 100°C/200°F and 200°C/400°F, respectively.
“This new form factor will give customers greater flexibility in sensor placement,” says Valery Sheverev, President and CEO of Lenterra Inc. “Measurement locations that weren’t accessible before are now possible.”
Lenterra’s novel RealShear™ sensors make it possible to measure the wall shear stress in mixers and extruders in real time. This insight can help process engineers carefully control conditions to consistently produce product with desired properties. Throughput can also be improved by ensuring that no extra or unnecessary mixing is performed. Armed with wall shear stress measurements, engineers can rapidly replicate processes developed in the laboratory on an industrial scale (scale up), thus bringing new products to market faster. The sensors can also be used in pipeline monitoring applications, where knowledge of the wall shear stress induced on the inner surface of a pipe by liquids or gases passing through it can help flow assurance engineers determine what types of components are present in the flow and also the nature of the flow dynamics. This information can be important in crude oil extraction, helping to estimate the relative amounts of hydrocarbons, water, sand, etc., present, and to predict when it is necessary to replace aging pipelines due to corrosion.
RealShear™ sensors work by using micro-optical resonators to detect minute lateral displacements at the face of the sensor when it experiences shear stress from particles/fluids with which it is in contact. These displacements cause the resonant spectrum of the micro-optical resonators to shift, which can be detected by interrogating them with light. Optical controllers that perform the interrogation and communicate measurements with a user’s computer are also available from Lenterra.
The development of wall shear sensors has been supported by the National Science Foundation under the Small Business Innovation Research program.