Understanding Load Cells

Jul 08, 14 Understanding Load Cells

A compression load cell is a type of device that is used for measuring large weights and pressures. Unlike the traditional scale, the load cell will actually apply a certain amount of force to the piezoelectric crystal and then measure all of the voltage across the entire crystal. The electronic signal that is produced with this event is so small that it will have to be amplified prior to being measured. A non-electric load cell, mainly the pneumatic and hydraulic load cells, perform a number of similar functions; however, the most popular design is the one referred to as the electronic strain gauge load cell.

Prior to talking about a load cell type, it is important that you understand how you go about selecting the appropriate load cells for your project. The first step is to determine if you need a compression or a tension cell. The tension load cell will measure the weight that is pulling on it, and essentially must be able to support the weight. The compression load cells take a measurement of the weight that is pushing on them, and they are almost always placed below the object that is being weighed. In most situations, any weight that is higher than 20,000 pounds will be too much for the tension mounts. However, the compression assemblies will usually require some type of lateral restraint in order to keep them stable.

The number of cells that need to be used should be determined by the actual number of supports, since in most cases the support needs to have a load cell. This is even more important if the distribution of the actual load is not completely symmetrical in between each of the supports. There are some cases where the tension and compression load cells will be sued in tandem.

The strain gauge load cell will convert the weight into a series of electronic signals. As the weight continues to increase, it will deform the structural component of the actual load cell. When the component cell begins to change shape, the actual electric resistance present in the gauge will be changed.

Understanding the options that are available will help you to determine which one is the right option for your particular needs. Ensuring that you select the right function for your business will also help to improve accuracy which will lead to more efficient services.

To learn more about the importance of a load cell, visit the Hardy Process Solutions website.

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