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`World’s smallest` fibre sensor has 40mm range

28 February, 2008

Contrinex claims to have developed the world’s smallest diffuse fibre optic sensor – a device with a tip diameter of just 0.5mm, making it ideal for detecting tiny objects or features.

Contrinex sensor

When sensing small objects, the beam size and the spread of the light emitted by fibre sensors often result in unwanted targets being detected, but the micro fibre tips of the new sensors (shown above) mare said to pinpoint the exact area to be sensed. In addition, the geometry of the fibre tip focuses the projected detection beam so that it remains almost parallel as it emerges from the tip, thus avoiding interference from nearby components and ensuring that only the required target is captured.

Concentrating the beam in this way results in a sensing range of 40mm, allowing good working clearances to be achieved, and minimising the risk of collision damage.

Small components moving at speed can be difficult to detect, but the new micro fibres are designed to connect to 5kHz amplifiers, resulting in a 0.2ms response time that ensures accurate detection of objects of any size, travelling at high speeds.

The fibre tips are made from stainless steel and are sealed to IP67 for use in aggressive environments. They have an operating temperature range of -25°C to +70°C. The fibres are supplied in 2m lengths but can be cut to any required length.

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