Intrinsically Safe Linear Sensors

As part of an extensive range of linear sensors, Positek supplies a selection of intrinsically safe sensors that are specifically designed for use in potentially explosive environments


Intrinsically safe equipment systems provide a safe operating environment for personnel and equipment by restricting the electrical energy transmitted into a hazardous area. Unlike an explosion proof sensor, intrinsically safe sensors are physically unable to produce a spark strong enough to cause ignition. This is what makes the Positek intrinsically safe sensor one of the safest linear position measurement devices on the market. All of our intrinsically safe position sensors must be used with a galvanically isolated three port amplifier, designed to supply the sensor with a nominal 5V and to transmit the buffered output to a safe area. We also supply a range of current limiting devices that can be used alongside most linear potentiometers. 

Not only do they eliminate the threat of an explosion, but as with every linear position sensor that we produce, our intrinsically safe sensors harness Positek’s patented, non-contact technology. The benefits of a contactless position sensor include added durability and reliability, even in the harshest of environments, over alternative technologies such as magnetostrictive linear position sensor and LVDTs.

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The linear position sensor interprets the information and converts it into an analog or digital signal. This signal is then displayed into an output format like a digital readout or a motion controller. The Positek intrinsically safe linear sensors are one of the best in the market in terms of safety because they isolate the large electrical output and buffer them into a safe area.

What is the difference between intrinsically-safe and non-intrinsically safe linear sensors?

One type of non-intrinsically safe linear sensors is the linear variable differential transformer or LVDT. These come in input voltage ranges of 8.5 to 30 V. Another type is the explosion proof linear sensor. The common aspect of these non-intrinsically safe sensors is that they are able to produce large voltage outputs that can make sparks and ignite flammable materials in the environment that they operate. Intrinsically safe linear sensors prevent this by limiting the energy to the device.

What safety risks come with linear sensors?

Linear sensors have numerous applications including gear measurement tension testers, coordinate-measuring machines, laser scanners, and calipers. They can also be used by servo controlled motion systems to provide accurate information. Position sensors are also deployed in hazardous areas like oil exploration rigs, gas utility plants, chemical and pharmaceutical fabrication facilities, sewage treatment plants, and large-scale dry-cleaning operations. What these all have in common are the presence of flammable gas or liquids. Linear sensors, being electro-mechanical devices, have the basic risk of creating sparks that can trigger explosions in these sites.

How do intrinsically safe linear sensors minimize safety risk?

Sensors like the Positek intrinsically safe linear sensors are one of the best in the market because they eliminate the threat of explosions by supplying the sensor with a current limited 5V signal and transit the buffered output into a safe area. They harness Positek’s patented non-contact technology. This also translates into a better, more durable and more reliable sensor.

Devices are exposed to hazards and risks because of their ability to create sparks and trigger flammable gases or liquids. They both use ferromagnetic material and transmit electrical signals between their coils to produce measurements for their applications in devices like robotics, machine tools, wire bonders, printers, and digital presses. The intrinsically safe linear sensors found in www.positek.com mitigate this risk by limiting the energy so that there are no possibilities to produce any sparks.


If our standard range of intrinsically safe equipment does not fulfil your requirements, we can customise any intrinsically safe sensor within our range to meet your specification. Please contact a member of our engineering team about your position sensor design today.

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