• GM Flexplate

    SAWSense is currently developing a wireless, real-time torque measurement system with General Motors (GM). It has the potential to improve vehicle driveability, reduce fuel consumption and improve transmission shift quality. Read More
  • McLaren

    Transense has established a JDA (Joint Development Agreement) with McLaren Electronics in order to develop Transense's patented technology in Motorsport applications. Read More
  • IntelWind

    Transense is now part of a consortium of nine companies ('IntelWind') that has begun development on a major EU funded project to improve the efficiency & reliability of wind turbines. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • About SAWSense
  • About SAW
  • Green SAWSense

Wireless, Battery-less Sensor Systems

SAWSense develops and markets patent-protected sensor systems for measuring torque, temperature and pressure, wirelessly and without the need for batteries, using Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology. SAWSense is a trading division of Transense Technologies plc.

As no batteries or wires are required, the sensors can be used in applications that traditional sensors cannot, such as on rotating shafts or in environments where access to the sensors is difficult or potentially hazardous.


The Benefits of SAW Technology

SAW devices, as deployed by Transense, are realised as crystalline quartz substrates (dies) typically 6 x 4 mm by 350 microns thick. On each die up to 3 resonators, with natural frequencies around 433MHz, are laid down in thin film aluminium, using photo-lithographic techniques. Each resonator comprises a central inter-digitated transducer (IDT) with a series of reflecting strips distributed on either side. Overall resonator dimensions are 2 to 3 mm long x 0.3 to 0.4 mm wide. The spacing between individual features in the IDT and reflectors is of the order of 2 microns so you need a microscope to resolve the fine detail. SAW resonators respond to both mechanical and thermal strain by changing their natural frequency of vibration..

Read More

Helping the World's environment

  • Wind energy is one of several applications of Transense's patented technology that will have a positive impact on the world’s environment.
  • As Transense's passive SAW technology doesn’t require batteries there are no potentially harmful disposal issues.
  • By allowing for more efficient car engines and power grids it has the potential to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Maximising tyre life & performance reduces the demand for fuel as well as rubber for replacement tyres.




SCHOTT Electronic Packaging

The essential ingredients for a successful SAW torque sensor are, a robust SAW die design, a package design with the correct mechanical properties, a package that is hermetic and can survive the rigors of an automotive environment protecting the SAW die from contamination.  

In partnership with Schott, Transense have developed a package that provides a solution to these challenges. The package consists of a base made from a material providing the required flexibility and durability necessary to perform millions of mechanical cycles without performance degradation.  There is a middle section manufactured from a material that provides an hermetic glass to metal seal.  Finally a lid which seals the sensor following the installation of the SAW die.

Hermetic Housings and Feedthroughs for SensorsWomanwithsensor300w

In most cases, automotive sensors are exposed to extremely harsh environmental conditions but yet have to function perfectly over long periods of time. Thus, automotive sensors are optimally packaged in glass-to-metal sealed housings, a proven technology that has been developed over decades of experience in automotive, avionics and industrial applications.

Using a combination of glass and metal assures long-term stability and enables components to be hermetically sealed. Every one of SCHOTT's components is unique and is designed to meet individual customer's specifications. With many years of extensive experience in this area, SCHOTT can meet the strict targets and delivery requirements of the automotive industry.

SCHOTT Electronic Packaging has been working in a close partnership with Transense to design the ideal hermetic housing for specific SAW sensors for different application areas.

Glass-to-metal sealing technology

SCHOTT Electronic Packaging is a worldwide leading supplier of hermetic packaging solutions for the reliable, long-term protection of sensitive electronic devices. For more than 70 years, SCHOTT has been developing, manufacturing and perfecting durable, hermetic packaging components in which wiring is guided through metal and then insulated using melted glass. This technique is even suited for the smallest housing that is not much larger than the head of a pin (1.2 millimeters), but also for high-voltage feedthroughs with a diameter of up to 1,000 millimeters.

Extensive stress tests show that this bond remains completely sealed, even under the most difficult environmental conditions and, thus, enables long lifetimes of several decades for the enclosed electronic components. The airbag igniter which is designed to function reliably for the entire lifespan of an automobile is an excellent example.


The most important characteristics of glass-to-metal sealed sensor housings

  • Excellent hermeticity: Up to 10-8 millibar*liters per second
  • High electrical insulation
  • Withstanding extreme temperatures of -65°C and up to +250°C
  • Special designs can withstand temperatures of -270°C and up to +450°C
  • High pressure resistance up to 1000 bar (and up to 4000 bar)
  • Non-aging and rugged, even in the harshest applications
  • Excellent chemical resistance and protection against corrosion
  • Autoclavable
  • Superior mechanical stability
  • Highest electromechanical compatibility
  • Good heat conductivity, grounding and electromagnetic shielding
  • Suitability for joining connections using bonding, soldering or adhesives

Design Variations

  • Glass-to-metal: Matched seal and compression seal
  • Ceramic-to-metal seals
  • High frequency capabilities
  • Miniaturization and large-scale: From 1.2 mm to 600 mm
  • Advanced material combinations
  • High and low functional solutions
  • Custom designs

SCHOTT Electronic Packaging

As a business unit of SCHOTT, Electronic Packaging can offer our customers access to a wide variety of specialized glass types and 125 years of experience in glass development and processing for many different applications. More than 600 scientists and engineers are working for and with SCHOTT customers all over the world, while setting the pace by developing new, cutting edge technologies for the requirements of today and tomorrow.

SCHOTT works with the world's leading suppliers of electronic devices for the automotive, aviation, data and telecommunications industry, as well as companies that manufacture consumer and defense electronics. SCHOTT cooperates with the manufacturers of sensors, batteries, safety and control devices, MEMS and quartz oscillators, as well as the laser and semiconductor industry. SCHOTT's large-scale hermetic feedthroughs are also used in liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels and power plants.

With 1,500 employees at four production locations and a number of competence centers in North America, Europe and Asia, SCHOTT Electronic Packaging is a strong and reliable partner for customers worldwide. More than 5,000 different articles have been developed and are distributed by SCHOTT. These are produced at company sites in Germany, the Czech Republic, Singapore and Japan.

For more information, please see: www.schott.com/epackaging