About Types of Dipsticks
The ordinary dipstick is perhaps the simplest and cheapest device available for measuring liquid level. It consists of a metal bar, on which a scale is etched, which is fixed at a known position in the liquid-containing vessel. A level measurement is made by removing the instrument from the vessel and reading off how far up the scale the liquid has wetted. As a human operator is required to remove and read the dipstick, this method is limited to use in relatively small and shallow vessels.
The optical dipstick allows a reading to be obtained without removing the dipstick from the vessel, and so is applicable to larger, deeper tanks. light from a source is reflected from a mirror, passes round the chamfered end of the dipstick, and enters a light detector after reflection by a second mirror. When the chamfered end comes into contact with liquid, its internal reflection properties are altered and light no longer enters the detector. By using a suitable mechanical drive system to move the instrument up and down and measure its position, the liquid level can be monitored.
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