The use of acoustic and elastic waves as sensory information carriers as well as for the generation of physical interactions with fluids and solid media are focal points of this research area.
Inline-analysis of fluid media
Inline analysis in fluid material systems places special demands on measurement technology with regard to media, temperature and pressure resistance. Cross sensitivities to various physical phenomena or heterogeneous material distributions usually require application-specific special solutions or the combination of different acoustic or electromagnetic measuring principles in one sensor.
For this purpose, starting with acoustic, capacitive and thermal as well as electromagnetic methods are used and successfully implemented up to tomographic approaches in the form of functional samples. In the joint project ExAKT an innovative combination of density and particle measurement methods are developed to analyze complex fluids in chemical production.
As a rule, application-specific measuring equipment also requires application-specific electronics for sensor signal generation, acquisition and evaluation. This implies, for example, the development of solutions for the generation of special sequences of excitation signals as well as for special multiplexer and amplifier technologies.
Chemical or biological sensors
Microresonant sensors are primarily mass-sensitive elements and can be applied in many ways as chemical or biological sensors for the gas or liquid phase. If the mass of the sensor changes in the nanogram range, its resonance frequency changes.
The specificity of the sensor is achieved by applying a wafer-thin layer which interacts with the layer to be selectively detected. Oscillating quartz crystals are used as sensors, in the QMB or LFE versions. Special oscillators, various types of measuring cells and equipment for data acquisition are available as a result of many years of R&D work in this field.
Material characterization and condition monitoring
The interaction of elastic or electromagnetic waves enables the targeted investigation or influencing of certain physical properties. These include the monitoring of material flows and filling levels, the determination of material compositions or the interaction in particle systems. The joint project IMFControl currently aims for the development of an innovative procedure for the non-invasive evaluation of muscle tissue and the distribution of fat deposits in farm animals.
The expertise on wave-based measurement methods and actuators is complemented by many years of experience in the field of modelling and simulation of characteristic sound propagation phenomena.
In the field of condition monitoring, special issues are spectral analysis of processes and vibration analysis for monitoring devices or plants.