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Load cells - the basics
Load cells are widely used to measure load, weight and force. Though load cells take many forms to accommodate the variety of uses throughout research and industrial applications, the majority of designs use strain gauges as the sensing element, whether foil or semiconductor. Strain gauge load cells are particularly stiff, have very good resonance values, and tend to have long life cycles in application.
The principle of operation is to create an electrical signal directly proportional to the force being measured. It usually consists of four strain gauges in a Wheatstone bridge configuration. The electrical signal output, typically a few millivolts, requires amplification before it can be used. The output of the transducer can be scaled to calculate the force applied.
PVL offers a range of five load cells from German principal Martens Elektronik, in addition to a range of accessories which include load cell transmitters, panel meters and amplifiers. These are:
- KR Load Cells for high power applications
- KS Load Cells for heavy duty applications
- PC22 Load Cell for precise applications (with ATEX option)
- RC3 Load Cell for industrial applications (with ATEX option)
- SB8 Load Cell for industrial applications (with ATEX option)
Data sheets describing the properties of each are available via this page.
The DMS9648 Bridge panel meter is designed for highly repeatable and accurate measuring of forces, pressure and torques with DMS bridges. The device offers a programmable bridge supply 5/10 VDC; max. 50mA output current. Measuring errors due to line resistance can be compensated by using a sense line.