Contactless Fluid Sensor works with tubes up to 0.25 in. OD.

Press Release Summary:

Infrared optoelectronic sensors in OPB350 Series use IR LED/phototransistor pair to determine difference in refractive properties between full and empty tubing as it passes through housing. Able to accommodate clear tubing with ODs of 0.125, 0.187, and 0.25 in., products have plastic housing that features connection mechanism to PCB. Sensor creates output signal that can describe multiple output states: fluid present, no fluid present, or no tube present.

Original Press Release:

Optek's Contactless Fluid Sensor Series Expands with Larger Diameter Tubing, Mechanical PC Board Mounting Options

Infrared optoelectronic sensors detect fluid in clear tubes up to 0.25" outside diameter... CHICAGO, IL (June 6, 2005) - Expanding the range of packaging options for design engineers who require a non-contacting means of detecting fluid through clear tubing, TT electronics OPTEK Technology has extended its OPB350 Series fluid sensor product family to include large tubing (outside diameters 0.187" and 0.250"), as well as an alternate plastic housing that features a robust connection mechanism to the PC board. Like the original OPB350 Series sensors, these larger diameter devices use an infrared LED/phototransistor pair to determine the difference in refractive properties between full and empty tubing as it passes through the housing. "With the addition of these larger diameter devices in the OPB350 Series product offering, we can expand the range of applications for our customers that need a reliable method of detecting the presence or absence of fluid in clear tubing without a break in the tubing or contact with the fluid itself," said Steve Coble, engineering manager for OPTEK Technology. "And, because the larger diameter tubing can cause greater stress on the sensors, we developed a housing that features a mechanically robust connection to the PC board." The sensor consists of an infrared LED and a silicon photodetector packaged in an opaque plastic housing that shields the optical components from ambient light. The housing features an opening designed to accommodate clear tubing with outer diameters of 0.125 inch (3.18mm), 0.187 inch (4.77mm) or 0.25 inch (6.36mm). "By measuring the change in the refractive index as the infrared signal passes through the tube and liquid, the sensor creates an output signal that can be read by external reference circuitry to describe multiple output states, such as: 'fluid present,' 'no fluid present,' or 'no tube present,' as well as specialized functions like bubble detection," Coble explained. Smaller outside diameter tubes (less than 0.125 inch) may be used with the OPB350 Series sensors if the tube can be 'sized up' to one of the standard sizes by using a length of the larger tubing as an adapter. The infrared input LED features forward DC current of 100mA (peak current of 1.0A; 1µs pulse, 330pps), with reverse DC voltages up to 2.0V and power dissipation of 100mW. The output phototransistor features collector-emitter voltage of 30Vand emitter-collector voltage of 5V; collector DC current is 50mA with 100mW of power dissipation. Operating temperature ranges from -40ºC to +85ºC. Designed for secure PC board mounting, the larger diameter OPB350 housing measures 1.165" (29.59mm) wide by 0.30" (7.62mm) deep with a board-mounted profile of 0.525" (13.34mm). Two 0.125" mounting holes accommodate screws or other fasteners to securely mount the device to the PC board. Color coded 24" 26 AWG wires identify the anode, cathode, emitter and collector for proper positioning in the circuit. Typical pricing for the OPB350 Series sensor is $3.79 "N Series" and $5.15 "T Series" in quantities of 1,000 pieces, with samples available immediately. Production quantity lead times from stock are 6-8 weeks. For a sample of the OPB350 tube liquid sensor or more information, contact TT electronics' OPTEK Technology at 1645 Wallace Dr., Carrollton, TX, 75006; call 972-323-2200, e-mail at or visit OPTEK on the web at OPTEK Technology is a leading manufacturer of standard and application-specific sensors using infrared, visible, magnetic and fiber optic technologies focused on applications in office machines, industrial equipment, encoders, automotive electronics, military and high-reliability applications, and medical diagnostic equipment. Headquartered in Carrollton, TX, the company is ISO/TS16949:2002 and BS EN ISO 9001:2000 certified. OPTEK Technology was acquired by TT electronics in December 2003. TT electronics plc is a global electronics company manufacturing a broad range of advanced electronic components, assemblies and sensor modules for the automotive, industrial, telecommunication, computer and aerospace markets.

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