Purpose-This paper aims to investigate a novel giant magnetostrictive (GM) force sensor using Terfenol-D rod. Design/methodology/approach-First of all, principle of GM force sensor based on positive magnetostriction of Terfenol-D is presented. Then, design procedure of the GM force sensor is stated. Magnetic properties such as B-H curve and permeability of Terfenol-D are measured by a novel experimental setup and the results are used in analytical model, sensitivity estimation and numerical simulations. Then, an analytical model is presented and a numerical simulation using CST Studio Suite 2011 software is done. So as a result of numerical simulations, optimum geometry of the GM force sensor is obtained related to the condition in which the GM force sensor has highest sensitivity. After that, the sensor is fabricated using the simulation results and is tested by means of an experimental setup. Characteristic curve of the GM force sensor in several conditions is measured and the optimum operational condition is obtained considering highest sensitivity condition of the sensor. Also operational diagrams of the GM force sensor is plotted in loading and unloading conditions. Characteristics of the GM force sensor in optimum condition are presented. Findings-It was found that the GM force sensor has maximum sensitivity and maximum linearity in 0.8A current, which can be known as optimum condition of application. In this sensor, maximum sensitivity is 0.51 mV/N (while current is 0.8A), which is highest among older investigations. Originality/value-At last, theoretical, numerical and experimental results are compared and the criteria for magnetostrictive sensor design are presented.
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