Torque measurement is performed for various use purposes in a variety of industrial fields. In an automobile vehicle, torque measurement is used to detect the torque caused to occur by a driver's operation using a steering wheel in an electromotive power steering system, or to detect the torque in the rotational direction of tires when running. Power assist steering systems are frequently employed for use with automotive vehicles. The power assist is accomplished by applying a supplementary rotary force to a steering member. Such systems may be controlled in response to a driver's applied torque to the vehicle's steering wheel. An electric power steering apparatus has a motor in a steering system, and alleviates the steering torque of the driver by controlling the power supplied from the motor by using a controller. In the electric power steering system, a torque sensor converts a torsional torque of a steering shaft, which is generated by steering of a steering wheel connected to the steering shaft, to an analog signal (voltage) and outputs it to an electronic control unit (ECU). In the ECU, an analogue to digital (AD) converter circuit converts the analogue signal to a corresponding digital value. Many torque sensors are either a magnetostriction type, which uses the changes of magnetic property caused by strain, or an inductance type, which uses the changes of magnetic property caused by stress. Magnetostrictive torque sensors typically include a detecting coil, a shaft and magnetostrictive material provided on the peripheral surface of the shaft. Magnetoelastic elements applied to cylindrical shafts are normally cylindrical as well to accurately reflect any changes in the shaft caused by applied torque. In a typical magnetostrictive torque sensor, a shaft is rotatably supported in a housing. A stator having a detecting coil is fixed to the inner wall of the housing. Also, magnetostrictive material is fixed to the shaft. A predetermined gap exists between the stator and the material. Contactless torque sensor systems are known or rotating shafts through which an applied torque is transmitted to a load. These sensor systems are contactless in that a transducer element generating a torque-dependent magnetic field rotates with a shaft.
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