Basic Types Of Load Cells

Basic Types Of Load Cells

It can sometimes be confusing and more than just a bit overwhelming to try to determine which is the best process weighing equipment to have in any given industry. It can be even more complicated when you start considering individual components, such as the load cells, which are at the center of the entire system.

All load cells, regardless of their type, operate as a form of a transducer. They react to a force on the cell and convert that force into an electrical signal. The electrical signal is then sent through the system, or to a controller, and it is then converted into a readout in the specific weight required.

Should any of these components be defective, incorrectly calibrated or otherwise damaged they will not provide the correct information to the operator and the system about the weights they are recording. Obviously, this has a huge impact on any aspect of production from inventory control to batching and blending, packing and even in shipping.

To help in understanding the basic types of load cells, here are the most common used in industrial applications today.

* Compression – all of these types of components are used to measure a push downward on the cell. This could include a platform scale, a floor scale, bench scale and in a wide variety of industrial applications. They can be designed to measure a variety of different options for force including shear, column or bending to name just a few. With their design, these are often the optimal choice for any type of measurement with a risk of overloading of the load cells.

* Tension – the tension load cells measures a pulling force which is known as a tensile measurement. A good example of this is in a hanging scale that could be used in food production or in batching and blending types of applications. There are many different designs of these options for specific weighing systems.

* Strain gauge – the oldest type of load cells, the strain gauge operates on the change in the strain or the pull on an interior spring or sensor in the interior of the load cell when a force is applied. These elements are typically used in groups of four for highly accurate measurements.

* Shear – the shear or beam load cells are typically used for heavier types of process weighing applications. It registers the difference between the bending or change in the position on the axis of the beam.

Choosing the right load cells for any weighing process is important as some are more effective for different types of measurements and in different applications. Talk to a sales rep about load cells and ask questions if you aren’t sure, a top company will always be able to explain their recommendation for one option over another.

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