The Strain Gauge System
Strain gauge technology continues to offer key benefits to the electrical measurement of mechanical quantities.
Low cost, good long term stability, infinite resolution and the ability to refine and adapt the strain gauge circuit to suit environmental conditions, all combine to make the strain gauge an excellent tool for the measurement of static loads or dynamic forces.
Whilst strain gauges are not a new technology, advances in electronic instruments have improved data collection and processing, which continues to open new possibilities for the application of strain gauges. As with most modern sensor systems, data can be logged for later analysis, or monitored in real time, locally or remotely.
By far the most common use of strain gauges is at the heart of force transducer or load cell systems. The load cell system provides a simple and accurate means of quantifying mechanical forces into engineering units. Simple, because a mechanical fixing is provided, along with ready made electrical connections. Accurate, because the force transducer or load cell is designed and manufactured for optimal performance. The transducer is supplied calibrated, to provide known signal (output) versus applied load (input).
Where the use of load cells is not feasible, either financially or physically, the strain gauge system can be used directly for the ‘transducer-isation’ of existing load bearing components.