An electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) sensor consists of a number of electrodes, which are usually mounted around the external or internal periphery of a circular insulated pipe. Therefore, the diameter of a conventional ECT sensor is fixed. This paper presents a new structure of ECT sensor, which can achieve adjustable inner diameter of the sensor within a certain range, by re-engineering the traditional structure, and therefore the electrode-to-gap ratio (EGR) of the sensor is changed. The relationship between EGR and image quality was studied by simulation. A prototype ECT sensor with variable diameter was fabricated and evaluated with an impedance-analyzer based ECT system. The experimental results show that the ECT sensor with variable diameter can provide similar reconstructed images to a conventional ECT sensor, when the sensor diameter varies in a certain range, i.e. EGR above 6:1. Therefore, this new structure can enable the ECT sensor to be adapted to the change in diameter of the measured objects.