For accurate force measurement, it’s not enough to simply use the right sensor for the job. Just as critical is where the strain gauges are placed within the force sensor itself, and how they’re attached.
We all know the adage about the three most important factors in real estate: “Location, location, location.” Something similar can be said of force sensors. The location of a strain gauge within a force sensor can mean the difference between accurate and faulty measurements.
What Is a Strain Gauge?
A strain gauge is a device that measures the physical displacement and deformation, or strain, that occurs as a result of stress applied to that device. The five main types of strain gauges are mechanical, hydraulic, electrical resistance, piezoelectric, and optical.
The most versatile types of strain gauges detect and measure electrical resistance. When stress is applied to the gauge, the resulting strain causes a change in electrical resistance, which is measured to determine load, force, torque, or pressure.
There are many kinds of force sensors on the market; the choice of sensor depends on the application. But regardless of the instrument used, what makes force measurement possible is the extremely thin strain gauge attached to the measuring device.
The Importance of Proper Strain Gauge Placement
For makers of force sensing elements, the location of the strain gauge(s) within that element makes an enormous difference in whether the measurement is accurate. How the gauge is embedded is also critical for optimal results. Placement and attachment is high-precision work, requiring high-end equipment and specialized engineering expertise. For these reasons, manufacturers often outsource this task to a provider with the necessary machinery and know-how.
Strain Gauge Service by WIKA USA
WIKA USA has the engineering expertise and state-of-the-art equipment for placing and attaching strain gauges on shear beams, load pins, tension links, and more. We then calibrate the force sensor to NIST standards. Each job is unique, which is why our Strain Gauge Serviceis tailored to each customer’s needs and specifications. We also offer advisory on which type of strain gauge is best suited for a force sensor, and can repair any type of electrical strain gauge.
What’s more, we offer industry-leading turnaround times – within a week or less – and work closely with customers to fit within their production schedule. Strain Gauge Service is based out of our Ohio facilities, which allows our engineers to respond quickly to requests throughout North America.
WIKA USA is a leader in force-measurement products and solutions. Contact the experts at our Strain Gauge Service to experience the WIKA difference for yourself.