Strain Gauge/Gage Pressure and Weight Sensor
A Strain gauge/gage is a small paper thin component that contains a resistance pattern whose resistance varies when force is applied to the structure where the strain gauges/gages are bonded. They are used to convert force, pressure, tension, weight, torque, etc., into a change in electrical resistance that can then be measured and calibrated by using various types of widely available methods. When external forces are applied to a stationary object, stress and strain are the result.
How do they work?
The gauge/gage is bonded to the object to be monitored by a suitable adhesive. As the object is deformed, the foil is deformed, causing its electrical resistance to change. This resistance change will increase the MV output as the load applied increases which can be read by a specific display suitable for your application that can convert the MV output into any measuring unit of your choice such as LB, KG, PSI…
How are they installed?
Stain gauge/gage installations are known to be preferably done in a laboratory environment due to the fact that they are extremely delicate and require a huge amount of time, delicacy and precision to bond the strain gauge/gage without cracking or damaging the thin component. Once the surface is properly smooth and cleaned from any paint, dust or any grease, the strain gauge/gage is usually bonded by using a suitable adhesive and pressure for a determined period of time. Once that step is done, the installer must solder extremely fine electrical wires “almost as thin as a human hair” to the strain gauge/gage terminals in order to complete the full Wheatstone bridge to be able to connect it to a system that will read the strain gauge’s output such as traditional load cells.
Why is the Flexco strain gauge/gage sensor such an innovation in strain gauge/gage bonding?
Knowing how fragile strain gauges/gages are and the steps required to achieve good results, anyone can realise that installing strain gauges/gages outside of a laboratory environment can be pretty demanding and time consuming. Most applications that could use strain gauges/gages are located in harsh environments that make the installation much more difficult. Any environment that contains humidity, water, dust, extreme temperatures will result in much more chances that the installation will fail. Even if the environment is perfect, it is not easy to be comfortable enough to easily install strain gauges/gages on applications such as trucks, overhead cranes, forklifts, elevators, rails, roofs, and many others. Flexco’s patented strain gauge/gage sensor technology allows the installer to have an all in one, already wired, already secured, already positioned and easy to install strain gauge/gage pressure sensor without the need of using any laboratory tools such as tweezers, magnifying glasses, solder iron and more. Our technology is based on special different material layers each dedicated for a specific purpose. The functions of the layers include separating the strain gauges/gages from the point where the installer applies pressure to bond the sensor in order to not damage the gauge/gage or its pre-soldered wire terminals, the adhesive layer where the strain gauges/gages lay is to not allow the gauges to slip while they are being bonded and put under pressure which can lead to unsuccessful bonding process. One layer is dedicated to protect the extremely thin electrical wires and another layer to junction the fine wires to a more robust 4 conductor cable that can be manipulated with ease and directly plugged into the indicator or monitoring system. Thanks to our patented technology, strain gauges/gages are a breeze to install and do not require any soldering or any of the challenging steps that are usually present in strain gauge/gage installations, especially on site. These 4 conductors are the soldered thin wires coming from the FULL Wheatstone bridge found on the strain gauges/gages inside our sensor. This way, we offer the same wiring as any traditional load cell (Ex+, Ex-, Sig+, Sig-). Quick and easy to install, robust and already proven, the Flexco sensor reinvents strain gauge/gage installation into an innovative, ready to bond and plug deformation sensor with optimal results.