Load cells play an important role in our everyday lives. They are part of bathroom scales or the scales in the fruit and vegetable department in your local supermarket. Industrial manufacturing relies on them, too. Load cells help monitoring stock and material flow in logistics and production and make sure operations run smoothly.
While both load cells and force transducers measure forces, there is a huge difference in application. Load cells measure weight forces which are directed towards the earth’s centre. Force transducers on the other hand are used to measure forces which can be directed anywhere. This means, load cells are more suitable for static application, whereas force transducers can be used in dynamic or highly dynamic settings where loads are frequently alternated. Unlike in the application of force transducers, high and very high precision is much more important in weighing technology. We are talking about deviations between 0.01 and 0.05 per cent here.
However, load cells and force transducers share a number of technical features and application fields.
Load cells are considered force transducers because they are very similar in structure and functioning. Just like most force transducers, load cells consist of a spring body. Strain gauges in form of a Wheatstone bridge are attached onto the spring body. These strain gauges detect when the spring body is stretched or compressed and render this information into a change of the electrical resistance. This change allows us to determine the weight, tension, or compression forces applied to the spring body.
As precise measurement is of utmost importance with load cells, they usually have a built-in temperature compensation to prevent temperature fluctuations from compromising results. This is especially important for load cells used in environments that are prone to changing weather conditions or temperatures, such as trucks or outdoor scales for silos.
Load cells are used in many different industries and technologies, such as process engineering, machine, vessel, or plant construction, food industry, medical technology, and agriculture. Many applications require precise measuring and documentation of weight forces. In some cases, those are even required by law. Filling systems in the food industry fulfil legal standards only when they use load cells to make sure that cans, bottles, or bags have the same net weight.
Load cells are also used to determine material stock and consumption as well as the quality of intermediate and final products. There are many different types of load cells for many different nominal loads – from 100 grams to 1,000 tons.
This way, they can be used both in precision scales to measure to an accuracy of 0.01 grams and silo and vessel scales, platform scales, filling scales, or truck weighing machines, where several tons of weight are applied.
Only correctly installed and used sensors can deliver precise measurements and live up to their expected lifespan. To support you with installation and usage of our load cells, we have developed mounting tools and installation kits which you can order on our website, too. Still unsure which components are the right one for you? Please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are happy to help.
Call us or use the contact form. We will contact you.