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What is a load cell ?

A load cell is a transducer or sensor that is used to convert a mechanical quantity proportionally into an electrical or electronic signal. A pushing action on an object or body causes it some distortions that have to be converted into measurable electronic signals. The conversion occurs in two steps:

- An action/force (or weight or torque) applied to a metallic test body induces a mechanical deformation of the metal part that is profiled in order to properly identify and measure the applied force or effort.

- This deformation is transmitted to strain gauges – as small electrical resistances – whose distortions follow that of the test body. These distortions induce a change in their electrical resistance (R) which follows the principle of ‘Pouillet’s (or Ohm’s) law’: R = αl / S

where

α is a coefficient dependent on the material

l is the length of the material

S is the cross-section area (which varies with the deformation).

A load cell usually consists of four strain gauges in a ‘Wheatstone bridge’ configuration. The output signal is often expressed in mVolts per Volt. To exploit the signal industrially it must be amplified through an amplifier.

The distortions are transmitted through a support film in order to convey, as accurately as possible, the deformation of the body. This support will be characterised and selected according to a set of criteria to minimise the transmission errors.

Finally, the output of the transducer is put into an algorithm to calculate the force applied to it.

 

Sensors customizations

This page will help you to define your custom-made load pins.

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