Measuring Viscosity of Gypsum

Datum Electronics was approached by a gypsum manufacturer, who was looking for options, which would allow them to monitor the viscosity of gypsum fluid in their mixing tanks, during the production process. The company had been experiencing significant damage to their motors, due to the high pressure applied to the rotors, by the thickening gypsum fluid, a process which happens extremely quickly. These breakdowns were proving to be extremely costly, not only to fix the motors, but also in the downtime of the mixers.

With an addition of a torque sensor, the company was hoping to observe the torque being applied to the motors, allowing them to extrapolate the viscosity of gypsum fluid. However, it would need to be a very special torque sensor to do this job. Apart from the high speed and torque to be measured, the mixing shaft was situated in an extremely harsh environment, being subjected to large amounts of fine dust and liquid splashes. Hence, the customer wanted a transducer, which would be able to withstand the harsh environment and become an extension of their current motor/mixer shaft.

Torque Sensor Solution

Datum’s solution to this challenge, was to design a bespoke RS425 torque sensor, with a TDX shaft matching the customer’s own driveline. This torque measurement solution enabled the customer to connect directly into their existing drive line, without the need for additional couplings, saving both time and money from an unnecessary production stoppage.

Although being custom built, the RS425 torque sensor used the same strain gauge technology as Datum’s standard torque sensing products, providing a high accuracy of 0.1%, ability to withstand high speeds and operate in the harshest of conditions. Having the Datum torque sensor installed not only helped protect the mixers’ motors, but also enabled the customer to improve batch consistency by matching the same viscosity with every consignment.