A bubble detector is commonly used in medical devices such as dialysis machines, blood transfusion lines, and infusion lines. Detecting air bubbles is essential to ensuring a steady flow and avoiding the difficulties caused by air embolisms.
What is Air Embolism?
An air embolism can occur when a gas bubble enters a vein or artery. Using this bubble of gas can result in potentially deadly effects. In the medical world, air embolism’s implications are often overlooked and devalued. Sensors that detect the presence of bubbles are critical in the fight against life-threatening diseases including strokes and heart attacks. There are numerous methods for detecting air bubbles in liquids. There are two methods: one uses photovoltaics and the other uses an ultrasonic bubble detector.
Photoelectric Bubble Sensors:
These photoelectric (also known as optical) capacitive air bubble detectors allow for the non-invasive detection of fluids and air pockets inside the tube. Since the sensor’s optical components have a permanent opening that fits most normal tube sizes, the tube can be inserted between them. When an air bubble or fluid in the tube stops the sensor’s light beam and the threshold is met, the sensor’s output is changed. However, optical bubble detectors have a few limitations. First, they need to be calibrated for the specific beverage they will be used with. As compared to air, the signal strength of some liquids increases, while the signal strength of other liquids decreases. To utilize your sensor with many fluids, may not be a possibility at all.
Ultrasonic Bubble Sensors
When one side of the transducer generates ultrasonic waves that are sent through the tubing, it is able to continuously detect variations in signal strength. In bubbles and liquids, the transmission of ultrasonic waves is different. Only when the tube is full of liquid can ultrasonic waves be transmitted. Because of the reflection caused by bubbles, ultrasonic vibrations are unable to pass through the material. Consequently, the signal strength will be reduced. Ultrasonic bubble detectors work in this manner to find air bubbles in the tube. Once factory-calibrated, non-invasive ultrasonic air bubble detectors does not need to be re-calibrated in the field.
How to Choose the Correct Ultrasonic Bubble Sensor?
SMD Sensors offers two different types of ultrasonic bubble sensors: the AX3x and the AX1x. There are two mounting choices for each model of the AX3X family: imperial or threaded. This bubble sensor is essential if you need a TTL vs. PNP output, a red or green LED output indicator, or if you want to test a feature. The AX1X air bubble tube detector has been designed specifically to satisfy the needs of our OEM medical clients to improve performance and reduce production costs. The most requested features, such as a test function that was activated by default, a connector on the reverse, and an input voltage of 3.3VDC, had to be streamlined in order to accommodate them.
Custom Tubing for Bubble Sensors:
Bubble sensors’ non-intrusiveness is really important to us. Custom bubble detectors for larger tubes are also available and can be built from steel, plastic, or glass tubing. There are a number of aspects to consider while selecting the correct ultrasonic sensor. It is the diameter of the tubing that distinguishes our line of off-the-shelf bubble detectors from one another. SMD Sensors offers custom sensors for tubing sizes ranging from 1/16” (1.6mm) to 12” (12.7mm) in diameter in addition to their standard offerings. Initial prototypes can be built using an air bubble detector circuit that may need to be customized. We can determine the optimum bubble detector and tubing for you if you send us a sample of your tubing. Make your own bubble sensors with our easy-to-follow instructions.
Find the Right Bubble Sensor:
Bubble detectors might be difficult to choose from, but understanding their value will help you make an informed decision and choose the best solution for your application. There is no limit to the applications for SMD sensors.