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Key Benefits of Capacitive Technology

Loadstar Sensors is a leading provider of digital load cells, digital torque sensors, digital displacement sensors and other convenient solutions to capture data from sensors and make it available on PCs, Tablets and Mobile Smart Phones.

We provide a variety of conventional sensing technologies including piezo-resistive load cells, torque sensors and displacement sensors.  We offer a variety of interfaces with USB, WiFi, Bluetooth and 0-5V DC Analog outputs that are compatible with these resistive sensors and make it easy to incorporate into your application.

Our patented capacitive sensing technology offers an integrated digital processing and communications capability in a compact yet rugged sensing package. We can adapt this capacitive technology to enable a variety of applications at an attractive price point making them economically feasible for the first time!

Some of the key benefits of our capacitive technology are:

High sensitivities in small packages.

Capacitance based devices can offer much higher sensitivities and resolutions than other measurement techniques such as resistive strain gauges. In comparison to resistive devices the capacitive signals are ten to a hundred fold higher for the same level of displacement.  Because of this, they do not need to be strained or deformed as much in order to obtain a robust signal.  As a result, very rugged sensors can be made in comparatively small sensor packages in a variety of sizes and shapes using standard mechanical and electronics fabrication techniques.

Versatile sensing platform.

Capacitive devices are very versatile and can be used to measure parameters such as: acceleration, vibration, humidity, proximity, torque, turbidity and temperature. One can change the gap between capacitive plates, the area of overlap or the dielectric material between the plates to create sensors for various applications. We have developed an end-to-end solution to harness this advantage in a easy to use manner.

Robust electromechanical device.

Loadstar sensors are not based on delicate strain gauges or piezo components and thus are less susceptible to shock loading and can offer several times the overload protection offered by resistive load cells. This can be a huge advantage for certain market segments such as consumer products where OEM's want to avoid damage to sensors in the field.

Flexible output options.

Our capacitance measurement technique output frequency as the basic signal proportional to loads. Optionally, we provide higher level analog (0 to 5V DC) or digital (USB, Serial, XBee Wireless) outputs.

Low Profile. Flexible shapes.

Our sensors can be built with very small gaps between capacitive plates while maintaining very high sensitivities. Because of this we can build sensors that are very small in diameter and height, and can be built in diverse shapes and patterns to suit the end use application.

Low power consumption.

The sensors draw as low as 10 mW. This can be an important advantage for mobile/unattended battery based applications.

Easy connectivity.

Sensor information can be accessed from a computer or PDA using a wired or wireless gateway. Information can also be accessed via the Internet on a graphical Web page.

Scalability.

Loadstar sensors can be scaled up or down to meet your measurement range requirements. We have already developed sensors that can handle 10, 50, 250, 1200, 2000 and 10,000 pound loads with the same underlying technology.

Lower cost.

Our patented technology enables us to build these sensors at a significant reduction in cost. We are able to pass on these savings to you by charging 50% to 90% lower prices than our competition.

However, note that, despite these advantages, capacitive load cells may not always be appropriate for monitoring applications that require  high accuracies over long periods of time and when used in environments with changing temperatures and moist .  We recommend using the capacitive load cells for applications that require a quick measurement where the initial conditions can be zeroed out and where the environment is maintained at steady room temperature and humidity conditions. Please consult Loadstar Sensors for advice on the most appropriate sensor for your application.