Technical Blog

LVDT vs Linear Potentiometer

LVDTs and linear potentiometers are two types of position sensors within our wide portfolio of Sensor products.

Although LVDTs and linear potentiometers have many similarities, they also have a few key differences which make them more suited to certain industries and applications.

Potentiometers are often used in factory automation, process and automation control as well as general industrial applications. Linear potentiometers are also widely in Motorsport.

LVDTs are more suited to Aerospace applications or instrumentation/test where vibration or dither may be a key aspect.  LVDTs also offer advantages in sealing to IP68.

LVDTs Vs Linear Potentiometers – the Similarities.

LVDTs and Linear potentiometers both measure the displacement of an object in a linear fashion. They both offer fast response, particularly in the case of Potentiometers with real-time measurement. Both technologies are highly reliable, well suited to extreme environments and offer long operational life.

LVDTs Vs Linear Potentiometers – the Differences

The main difference between LVDTs and Linear Potentiometers is that LVDTs are a non-contacting sensor whereas Linear Potentiometers sensors unless specified as a non-contacting linear potentiometer, are not. LVDTs use a nickel-iron core surrounded by coils to determine the voltage change inside the LVDT which is then converted into an output AC signal where magnitude represents the amount of movement from the centre position of the nickel-iron core. 

Our Linear Potentiometers use elastomer damped wipers to improve the life span and combat shock and vibration. LVDTs being contactless do not suffer from mechanical wear and therefore offer a very high operational life. However, although linear potentiometers are not friction-free, they do offer the absence of electronics meaning they tend to be a more cost-effective solution.

LVDTs and Linear Potentiometers from Variohm

See our range of Linear Potentiometers here  Our LVDTs are part of our range of non-contacting position sensors, they can be found here  

For more information on LVDTs and Linear Potentiometers please contact us +44(0)1327 351004 or



Article published on: 26/03/2018