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Open AccessArticle

An Improved Capacitive Sensor for Detecting the Micro-Clearance of Spherical Joints

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou 310018, China
2
School of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
3
State Key Lab of Fluid Power & Mechatronic Systems, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(12), 2694; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19122694
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Due to the flexible and compact structures, spherical joints are widely used in parallel manipulators and industrial robots. Real-time detection of the clearance between the ball and the socket in spherical joints is beneficial to compensate motion errors of mechanical systems and improve their transmission accuracy. This work proposes an improved capacitive sensor for detecting the micro-clearance of spherical joints. First, the structure of the capacitive sensor is proposed. Then, the mathematical model for the differential capacitance of the sensor and the eccentric micro-displacement of the ball is deduced. Finally, the capacitance values of the capacitive sensor are simulated with Ansoft Maxwell. The simulated values of the differential capacitances at different eccentric displacements agree well with the theoretical ones, indicating the feasibility of the proposed detection method. In addition, the simulated results show that the proposed capacitive sensor could effectively reduce the capacitive fringe effect, improving the measurement accuracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: spherical joint; clearance measurement; capacitive sensor; eccentric displacement spherical joint; clearance measurement; capacitive sensor; eccentric displacement
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Wang, W.; Qiu, W.; Yang, H.; Wu, H.; Shi, G.; Chen, Z.; Lu, K.; Xiang, K.; Ju, B. An Improved Capacitive Sensor for Detecting the Micro-Clearance of Spherical Joints. Sensors 2019, 19, 2694.

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