Smart Solutions for Sensors

Don Salladin, ESRDon Salladin
Engineering Sales Representative
Ellsworth Adhesives

Tom Steucek, ESRTom Steucek
Engineering Sales Representative

Ellsworth Adhesives

Eric Traxler, ESREric Traxler
Engineering Sales Representative
Ellsworth Adhesives

Electronic sensors are the go-to data input device for many industries and tasks. Sensors are often part of mission-critical systems where they must be protected from adverse operating conditions. Engineers are commonly challenged to find a low-cost, manufacturing-friendly method of incorporating sensors into a system that will function in a harsh environment while meeting demanding performance requirements.

Protecting Vulnerable Sensors

Sensor-based systems are required to be both accurate and sensitive. Therefore, protecting a sensor is imperative to creating a reliable, accurate product without compromising instrument sensitivity. This narrow equilibrium is easily upset by poor assembly methods, mechanically constraining hardware, or a hostile environment.


Sensor type Example application Protection from Properties needed
Ultrasonic, Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) Position detection in assembly line Impacts; vibration; contaminants Acoustically permeable
Load cell Scales Thermal expansion; overstrain Deformation transfer to strain gauge
Turbidity Water quality testing Water ingress; oxidation Optical transmission
Moisture/temperature (wireless) Determining wet road conditions Vibration/shock; compression; corrosives (road salt); weather; temperature Thermally conductive; RF permeance
Inertial Munitions Shock; temperature Disposable (low cost)
Myocardial Monitor patient temperature changes during heart surgery Contaminants; fluid ingress Sterility (adhesive unaffected by biocides)
Airspeed Aircraft speed Extreme temperatures; weather Instrument exposure to air flow



Choosing the Right Adhesive

Adhesives simplify assembly processes, often replacing costly or vulnerable hardware like rivets and welding. Benefits include:

  • Reduced assembly times
  • Eliminating costly curing equipment
  • Increased throughput
  • Decreased part count and material costs
  • Simplified product designs

Sensor components that generate heat will benefit from a thermally conductive adhesive, which can route excess heat to an outer case or heat sink to protect sensitive equipment. Innovative and customizable solutions exist as well, such as:

  • Electrically conductive fillers that protect against over-currents in a circuit
  • Casting resins used instead of individual component and PCB housings
  • Functionally graded or layered compounds that create a laminated composite, with each material imparting its own mechanical, thermal, or electrical properties

No matter the adhesive, Ellsworth Adhesives’ global network of Glue Doctors® are equipped with the experience and knowledge to find the right solution for your application.

To learn more about smart sensor solutions, download the white paper.


For help identifying the right material for your sensor assembly, contact us.

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