This section provides an overview for charge amplifiers as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 14 charge amplifier manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked charge amplifier companies as of December, 2023: 1.Test Equipment Connection, 2.MISTRAS Group, Inc., 3.CEC Vibration Products LLC.
A charge amplifier is an amplifier that converts a very small charge signal generated by a piezoelectric sensor, which is difficult to measure, into a proportional voltage signal.
Since the charge signal generated by a piezoelectric sensor is precisely proportional to the pressure applied to the piezoelectric sensor, it is very useful to accurately measure this value. Charge amplifiers can convert the charge signal generated by a pressure sensor into a voltage that is exactly proportional to the charge.
Charge amplifiers are used to make measurements with piezoelectric sensors. Charge amplifiers are used when piezoelectric sensors are installed in confined spaces or in environments with high ambient temperatures. This is because piezoelectric sensors are small in size, some of them feature high heat resistance, and are often used for measurement in the above environments.
Charge amplifiers are also ideal for measurements that require responsiveness. Piezoelectric sensors measure minute displacements and can produce highly synthetic sensors. They are used to amplify the measured minute displacement with a charge amplifier. 2.
They are widely used in instruments that measure ionizing radiation, such as proportional counters and scintillation counters. These instruments detect radiation in ionizing phenomena and measure the energy of each pulse.
Charge amplifiers can be used to convert the charge pulses from the detector into a voltage output, allowing measurement of each individual pulse.
As already mentioned, piezoelectric sensors generate a minute electric charge when pressure is applied. The role of the charge amplifier is to convert this small charge into a voltage that can be measured.
Charge amplifiers convert the negative charge output proportional to the pressure applied by the piezoelectric sensor into a positive proportional voltage. In modern charge amplifiers, this signal can be used directly in digital form.
By converting the charge into a voltage signal, it becomes a signal that can be input to a measuring instrument (DAQ, FFT analyzer, oscilloscope, etc.) that processes the data.
An integrating amplifier is used when the charge amplifier converts a small charge to a voltage. If the capacitance of the integrating amplifier's capacitor is Cg and the charge of a small charge is Q, the voltage V is obtained by V = Q / Cg.
The configuration of the charge amplifier's integrating amplifier is a circuit consisting of an operational amplifier and a capacitor. The current entering the capacitor is time integrated, and the circuit amplifies the charge.
All the input charge is charged to the capacitor. A similar circuit to the charge amplifier's integrating amplifier is the integrating circuit. This is a circuit with a resistor, a current-to-voltage conversion circuit, at the input. It has the feature of time-integrating and amplifying voltage.
The charge amplifier has a high-pass filter and a low-pass filter at the output points to eliminate noise. In some cases, a resistor is attached to the input of the amplifier circuit of the charge amplifier. That resistor is not intended for current/voltage conversion, but for protection against excessive input signals.
In practice, it is very important to select a charge amplifier that is appropriate for the measurement target in order to make accurate measurements. In selecting a charge amplifier, the following are important aspects to consider
If there are multiple measurement points, measurement cannot be performed without multiple measurement channels. If the number of measurement channels is insufficient, measurement can of course be performed by purchasing more charge amplifiers, but this is less advantageous due to the higher cost and more complicated adjustment work.
It is also important to determine whether the piezoelectric sensor is compatible with large and small charge signals. Naturally, measurements cannot be made unless the measurement ranges match, but it is necessary to introduce charge amplifiers with a measurement range that is in line with future measurement plans.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Endevco, established in 1947 and located in Irvine, California, USA, is a manufacturer and supplier of dynamic measurement solutions. Their product portfolio includes accelerometers, pressure sensors, force sensors, signal conditioners, and data acquisition systems. These products find extensive application in industries such as aerospace, defense, automotive, energy, and industrial testing. The company's solutions enable measurement and analysis of dynamic forces, pressures, vibrations, and accelerations, facilitating research, development, and testing in various industrial applications. Endevco products comply with quality standards and are backed by ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Incorporated in 1965, Analog Devices, Inc. designs, manufactures, tests, and markets integrated circuits (ICs), software, and subsystems that leverage analog, mixed-signal, and digital signal processing technologies. The company provides data converter products, power management and reference products for power conversion, driver monitoring, sequencing, and energy management applications in the automotive, communications, industrial, and high-end consumer markets. In addition, the company provides digital signal processing and system products for high-speed numeric calculations. It serves clients in the industrial, automotive, consumer, instrumentation, aerospace, and communications markets.
MISTRAS Group, established in 1978, is a manufacturer and global supplier headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, specializing in non-destructive testing (NDT) equipment and asset protection solutions. The company’s product portfolio includes NDT technologies such as advanced acoustic emission (AE) and ultrasonic testing (UT) equipment. It also offers field inspections, lab testing, maintenance, monitoring, and data management services. These offerings serve diverse sectors such as academia, aerospace, defense, infrastructure, and manufacturing. The company adheres to ISO 9001:2015 quality standards with locations worldwide, serving clients across North America, Europe, Asia, and beyond.
PCB Piezotronics, founded in 1967 and headquartered in North Carolina, is a manufacturer of sensors for design engineers and predictive maintenance. They design and manufacture various sensors such as microphones, vibration, pressure, force, and torque sensors. Their products are used for testing, measurement, monitoring, and control requirements in automotive, aerospace, military, and other industries in order to gather accurate data, ensure safety, enable predictive maintenance, and facilitate advancements across multiple industries. PCB Piezotronics is a subsidiary of Amphenol Corporation.
Founded in 1980, Dytran manufactures high-quality dynamic testing solutions from its 45,000-square-foot facility in Chatsworth, California. Dytran designs and manufactures innovative sensors, accelerometers, and associated electronics for measuring dynamic force, pressure, and vibration. The company offers a wide range of product lines, with full in-house customization capabilities to provide customers with a one-stop shop for test and measurement requirements. Dytran's specializations include designing single-axis and triaxial IEPE accelerometers, ultra-high temperature charge mode sensors, pressure sensors, and digital bus-based sensors. Dylan is reputed for its sensor technologies for both product development testing and embedded solutions.
Meggitt Sensing Systems - Wilcoxon Research, founded in 1960 and headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, specializes in vibration monitoring products. Its facility houses a wide range of modern manufacturing, assembly, and test equipment, ranging from precision machinery for vibration sensor components to custom-built machinery designed for accelerometer fabrication. Its solutions are integral to predictive maintenance and condition monitoring programs, encompassing accelerometers, vibration transmitters, velocity sensors, connector assemblies, and enclosures. The company is also ISO 9001:2015 certified for its design, assembly, and distribution processes.
Bruel & Kjaer Vibro America, Inc., established in 1994 as a subsidiary of German company Brüel & Kjær Vibro GmbH is an American service provider and manufacturer of condition monitoring products. Based in Gardnerville, Nevada, the company produces various VIBRO brand devices that collect, analyze, and/or display vibrational data. The devices include VC-8000 rack-based continuous monitoring system, VIBROPORT & VIBROTEST portable onsite measurement instruments, and the VCM-3 wireless connectivity & cloud-based data management system. It also offers accessories and spare parts for various application in the petrochemical, renewable energy, and mining industries.
Sinocera Piezotronics Inc., established in 2001 in Jiangsu, China, is a manufacturer and supplier specializing in piezoelectric ceramic materials, piezoelectric sensors and dynamic testing instruments. The company’s products include piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic actuators, and a range of sensors, instruments, and signal-processing equipment. The company can also produce according to customers’ requirements offering custom solutions to meet different needs. Their products serve diverse industries including civil engineering, construction, energy, petrochemicals, and more. The company holds ISO9001 certification, Rohs and CE certificates, serving clients across the globe including North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Founded in Switzerland, Kistler serves both public and private customers in the automotive, aerospace, maritime, transportation, medical, semiconductor, energy and life sciences industries. Products include sensors as well as connectivity, signal, and data acquisition devices as well as software solutions. Applications of these solutions include R&D to safety testing, and condition monitoring. Key technologies include dynamic pressure, force, torque and acceleration measurement technologies.
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