Electrical Hotwire Instruments


A person who says that a simple piece of metal wire is nothing more than just wire is missing out on what wires can do. Without wires, modern civilization would never work. However, despite the more obvious applications of electrical transmission and ligatures for various objects, there are two so-called electrical hot wire instruments that are in modern use: hot wire cutters and hot wire anemometers.

Hot Wire Cutters

  • A hot wire cutter is a science project that demonstrates the relationship between heat and electricity. It consists of a piece of a length of resistance wire that is stretched taut across two poles of a rig. The hot wire cutter rig then runs electricity to the wire; this heats up because of high resistance where electrical energy gets converted to heat. The heated wire can then be used to cut materials made out of soft plastics with ease regardless of foam thickness.

The Hot Wire Anemometer

  • A more complex electrical hot wire instrument is the hot wire anemometer. The hot-wire anemometer is one of the more famous thermal anemometers. The basic mechanism of a hot wire anemometer is that through the use of an exposed hot wire connected to an electronics' system, the anemometer can read changes in fluid velocity through reading the amount of heat convected away by the fluid substance. The exposed hot wire of the hot wire anemometer is under constant electrical current therefore keeping it under constant temperature. The rest of the anemometer's system calculates differences between normal wire temperature and lost temperature to take fluid velocity measurements.

Advantages of Hot Wire Anemometry

  • People in scientific fields --- such as physics --- love the hot wire anemometer because of its accuracy in measuring entropy. Hot wire anemometry is also an accurate and reliable technique with a high-frequency response of 10 kilohertz to 400 kilohertz.

Disadvantages of Hot Wire Anemometry

  • Hot wire anemometers, despite being accurate, are expensive instruments to purchase and maintain given that the wire itself is made out of either platinum or tungsten and the rest of the system has complex electronics used in computations for deriving measurements. The wire itself is very fragile and therefore the instrument should be handled with extra care. Because of its fragile wire component, the hot wire anemometer can only be used for measuring the velocity of clean gas flows.

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