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An inductive sensor is an electronic proximity sensor, which detects metallic objects without touching them.

The sensor consists of an induction loop. Electric current generates a magnetic field, which collapses generating a current that falls asymptotically toward zero from its initial level when the input electricity ceases. The inductance of the loop changes according to the material inside it and since metals are much more effective inductors than other materials the presence of metal increases the current flowing through the loop. This change can be detected by sensing circuitry, which can signal to some other device whenever metal is detected. Common applications of inductive sensors include metal detectors, traffic lights, car washes, and a host of automated industrial processes. Because the sensor does not require physical contact it is particularly useful for applications where access presents challenges or where dirt is prevalent. The sensing range is rarely greater than 6 cm, however, and it has no directionality. Inductive proximity sensors are used for non-contact detection of metallic objects. Their operating principle is based on a coil and oscillator that creates an electromagnetic field in the close surroundings of the sensing surface. The presence of a metallic object (actuator) in the operating area causes a dampening of the oscillation amplitude. The rise or fall of such oscillation is identified by a threshold circuit that changes the output of the sensor. The operating distance of the sensor depends on the actuator's shape and size and is strictly linked to the nature of the material Inductive sensors contain an induction loop, or electromagnetic detection system. Electric currents in the inductive sensor create a magnetic field, or a force field created by a magnetic object. The magnetic field collapses, creating a current when input electricity is added. The presence of metal, since metal is a comparably strong inductor, increases the flow of current inside the induction loop. This change in current is detected by the circuitry, which can then send an appropriate signal when it senses a metal object. Capacitive sensors are used for non-contact detection of metallic objects & nonmetallic objects (liquid, plastic, wooden materials and so on). Capacitive proximity sensors use the variation of capacitance between the sensor and the object being detected. When the object is at a preset distance from the sensitive side of the sensor, an electronic circuit inside the sensor begins to oscillate. The rise or fall of such oscillation is identified by a threshold circuit that drives an amplifier for the operation of an external load. A screw placed on the backside of the sensor allows regulation of the operating distance. This sensitivity regulation is useful in applications, such as detection of full containers and non-detection of empty containers. Capacitive sensors are noncontact devices capable of high-resolution measurement of the position and/or change of position of any conductive target. The nanometer resolution of high-performance sensors makes them indispensible in today's nanotechnology world. Capacitive sensing can also be used to measure the position or other properties of nonconductive targets.

Capacitive sensors use the electrical property of "capacitance" to make measurements. Capacitance is a property that exists between any two conductive surfaces within some reasonable proximity. Changes in the distance between the surfaces changes the capacitance. It is this change of capacitance that capacitive sensors use to indicate changes in position of a target. High-performance displacement sensors use small sensing surfaces and as result are positioned close to the targets (0.25-2mm).
Compared to other noncontact sensing technologies such as optical, laser, eddy-current, and inductive, high-performance capacitive sensors have some distinct advantages.

Higher resolutions including subnanometer resolutions Not sensitive to material changes: Capacitive sensors respond equally to all conductors Inexpensive compared to laser interferometers.

Capacitve sensors are not a good choice in these conditions:

Dirty or wet environment (eddy-current sensors are ideal) Large gap between sensor and target is required (optical and laser are better)