Determination of the mixing ratio of a flowing gas mixture with self-actuated microcantilevers

Microcantilevers offer a wide range of applications in sensor and measurement technology. In this work cantilever sensors are used as flow sensors. Most conventional flow sensors are often only calibrated for one type of gas and allow an analysis of gas mixtures only with increased effort. The sensor used here is a cantilever positioned vertically in the flow channel. It is possible to operate the sensor in dynamic and static mode. In the dynamic mode the cantilever is oscillating. Resonance frequency, resonance amplitude and phase are measured. In static mode, the bending of the cantilever is registered. The combination of the modes enables the different measured variables to be determined simultaneously. A flow influences the movement behaviour of the sensor, which allows the flow velocity to be deduced. In addition to determining the flow velocity, it is also possible to detect different types of gas. Each medium has certain properties (density and viscosity) which have different effects on the bending of the sensor. As a result, it is possible to measure the mixing ratio of a known binary gas mixture and their flow velocity simultaneously with a single sensor. In this paper this is investigated using the example of the air–carbon-dioxide mixture.


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