Types of Sensors
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.
Load Cell Weight and Pressure Sensor
In the business of scales and load measurement, load cells are well known solutions that are found in a big percentage of weighing applications and some monitoring applications as well. In order to achieve optimal precision, load cells need to be mounted properly. There are many different ways to install or secure a load cell into a structure but they all require some modifications and/or some lifting to properly secure the load cell into, under or over the structure to be monitored.
Load cells sensors are usually catered to different applications and setups. They vary in different sizes, designs, load capacities, build quality, material, ratings, certifications and many other factors.
What is important for you know is the fact that there are strain gauges in almost every single load cell. Those strain gauges are very small in size and very fragile by themselves, now in order to build a load cell those strain gauges must be bonded very carefully in a very clean laboratory environment at a specific location on the actual body of the load cell, and at a specific direction in order to obtain the most reliable output, accuracy, and linearity.
Load cell sensor are highly precise and are widely used for standard weighing applications. They are easily installed when your structure is modified and designed to receive a specific size, capacity, and model of load cell sensor for your specific application, however in certain cases and certain applications a standard load cell is not feasible due to the following facts:
-can’t modify a pre-existing structure due to its original approvals in relation to rated capacity and specifications
-when the price is way out of budget
-when your structure capacity is too high for standard commonly found load cells
-when the structure can’t be lifted to install a load cell under it
-when you were told it was just not doable
This is where the Flexco’s patented sensor thrives. Our sensor technology allows any industry to transform their solid structure into the actual load measuring cell. Our patented sensor allows you to bond the strain gauges directly onto the structure in question. We eliminate most of the concerns regarding modifying structures, pricing, capacity, lifting, and the ANSWER: “NO IT CAN’T BE DONE”.
Weight and Load Sensor
A load sensor or weight sensor is used to measure different types of loads on different types of applications in different types of configurations and capacities.
Load sensors are usually composed of a component called a strain gauge that measures deformations on solid structures. Weight sensors are usually installed under a structure or on top of it to have the structure suspended on the sensor or sandwiched in between two parts. Other available sensor options involve more intrusive installation methods such as bolting or welding strain gauge based weight sensors onto surfaces to measure their deformations based on the stretch between the bolts or welds. Different types of load sensors are used to measure tension, compression, torque, deformation, stress and many other deflections. Some are designed to measure only tension or only compression meanwhile other sensors offer both or other types of deformations.
Flexco’s patented load sensor technology involves the same concept as all these weight sensors but without the need to lift, hang or modify your structure. Our technology consists of having the strain gauges bonded directly onto the loading points lifting or supporting the structure in question. Without the need to lift, hang, drill, weld or cut your structure, our weight sensor offers a non-intrusive way to reach outstanding performance in deformation monitoring. Since our weight sensor is based on bonding strain gauges, that means that once it is bonded on the right loading points of your structure, these same loading points turn into what we call, load cells or weight sensors. Our load sensor technology allows you to have load results without compromising initial structure design or rated capacity and without the need to lift, hang, drill, weld or cut your structure to install a weight sensor. We transform your structure into the actual load weight sensor device without any modifications whatsoever.