Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Regular research article
22 Apr 2013
Regular research article |  | 22 Apr 2013

Driving modes and material stability of a double membrane rheometer and density sensor

B. Weiss, M. Heinisch, E. K. Reichel, and B. Jakoby

Abstract. This contribution presents the analysis of an earlier proposed double membrane sensor for measuring mass density and rheological properties of liquids with respect to different driving modes. Concerning practical implementation the sensor mounting and the stability of the polyethylene foil, currently used as membrane material, are investigated. The sensor is based on two opposed membranes vibrating in parallel where a sample liquid is enclosed between the membranes. The excitation and read-out mechanisms of the membrane vibration are based on Lorentz forces induced in a static magnetic field. Each membrane carries three conductive paths for excitation, which can be separately connected to the excitation currents. This allows the excitation of the first and second modes of vibration and enables prestressing the second mode of oscillation. Analyzing the material-stability of the used polyethylene foil shows a strong long-term drift of the modulus of elasticity and an increase of internal damping with increasing temperature. Comparing the resonance frequency of the fundamental mode with earlier measurements achieved with the second mode of resonance indicates an increased sensitivity to density featuring a reasonably sustained quality factor for high viscosities. Thereby, the sensitivity can be adjusted by varying the distance between the membranes.