The world is evolving and so are the many different ways you can take precision tilt measurements. However, there are few sensor technologies that can cover all applications and you need to know which is the right one for your project. For many civil engineering and geophysical projects, an electrolytic tiltmeter has been the answer and this post will explain why.
1. Extreme Sensitivity
Electrolytic sensors are some of the most sensitive in their market with a resolution as fine as 2.5 nanoradians. If you string a rope from New York City to San Francisco and lift one end up by 10 mm, that’s an angle of 2.5 nanoradians.
2. Long Lifespan
Since electrolytic sensors are based on carpenter level-like technology, there are few mechanical parts involved. With these few parts, the sensor is less likely to break down over time. Some sensors have been known to be active for over 20 years.
3. Most Models are Waterproof
Many sensors require an enclosure to be built around them so they can survive harsh temperature and shock environments. Some electrolytic models, such as the Tuff Tilt series, come in a rugged enclosure to protect the sensor from tough conditions. This means it is field-ready and you won’t need to build something around it for protection. Just mount it, and leave it.
Limitations of an Electrolytic Tiltmeter
While some models are built to survive the elements, the added enclosure makes for a larger footprint.
Some models can be a bit temperamental too. These sensors have a low-frequency response, which means they should be mounted to be stationary and upright to make small, gradual measurements, which is great for monitoring the activity of a structure or embankment.
What They're Used For
With large footprints, durability, and sensitivity, electrolytic tiltmeters make great solutions for many geophysical and geotechnical projects. The durability allows them to be set on a bridge, a dam, or building where weather will be a factor. Some models are submersible to 3500 psi for deep subsea measuring and some are rated to be buried into boreholes for slope stability studies, volcano monitoring, and many other geophysical studies.
If a geotechnical or geophysical project is what you’re working on and you need to know if there is movement involved, check out an electrolytic tiltmeter. Is a tiltmeter something you are looking for? View the series comparison charts to help identify which model is best for your needs.