With the help of load cells, we can convert force into a measurable source of output. Load cells are transducers, and the most common type used widely in industries is a strain gauge load cell.
Load cells always come bonded with an elastic material called a strain gauge. To better understand what they are, it’s important to understand their working principles and why they’re so widely preferred.
What Is A Load Cell Used For?
Depending on your scope of work, you can use a load cell at different phases of the geotechnical field. They can be used in the initial stage to help with research and development or towards the end while monitoring the structure.
With the help of geotechnical instruments, you can ensure the safety of your structure pre and post-construction. It can also give you a good idea of the strength and long-term safety for both builders and investors.
How Does A Load Cell Work?
Have you ever racked your head hoping to understand just how load cells work? Well, here’s a basic idea of their working principle.
In order for a load cell to work, it needs to be paired up with other geotechnical instruments. It needs to be working together with a sensor, and that is where strain gauges come in!
Like thin elastic material, strain gauges are made up of stainless steel and can be found fixed inside the load cells with the help of proprietary adhesives. The strain gauge has a fixed resistance in place that falls directly proportionate to its width and length.
When force is applied to the load cell, the load cell will stretch, which prompts the strain gauge to move alongside it. And with the length of the strain gauge changing, the electric resistivity also changes, which subsequently changes the output voltage shown.
Are Load Cells And Strain Gauges The Same?
Since they work in conjunction with each other, many people are under the misconception that they’re one and the same. However, that isn’t true!
The most evident difference between the two is that a strain gauge is a singular resistive element while a load cell consists of four strain gauges tied together in an arrangement.