Although you are probably not aware of it, you come into contact with load cells on a regular basis.This technology is used on things like the industrial floor scales you would find in the loading dock of a busy shipping department. The purpose of load cells is to measure the force, weight, and torque of an object by measuring the bending movements of the load cell structure. Precision measurements can be taken once and then recorded or used as part of a monitoring system, which makes them very important in a variety of different industries.
Tension Force Sensor
Generally, you will find tension force sensors on raw material tanks or vessels that are suspended to take weight measurements as they are being filled or emptied. The purpose is to measure the amount of tension that is being placed on the tank to provide an accurate measurement as it is filled or contents removed. An alarm can sound if it gets close to its maximum weight capacity. On the smaller scale, these sensors can measure a few kilograms of weight, while on a larger scale they can measure well over five tons.
Picture an industrial baking operation where all raw dough must pass before it is portioned into loaves of bread and you have some idea of how a compression weighing system works. The basic idea is to measure the weight of the dough by incorporating the sensor into the structure of the fixture.
In some cases, you will find these sensors at the end of an assembly line as this allows quality assurance to determine if the finished goods are meeting the weight specification or if they have too much or too little product in them. Often this happens very quickly with many products measured per second. This is known as high speed check weighing.
Beam Load Points
A beam load cell is used to measure the tensile forces and small scale axial compressive properties of an object. These load cells can be used in pharmaceutical laboratories that need exact measurements to deliver perfect formulation. These load cells are extremely sensitive, which allows them to provide very accurate measurements. On a larger scale, shear beams coupled with a rate controller is a "loss-of-weight" application where multiple ingredients are added to a single vessel at the same time and the rate that they are added is measured and controlled precisely.
Breaking force applications test a product or material's quality by recording the highest value measured (torque) before breakage occurs (peak hold). For example, the quality of a charcoal briquette is measured by the amount of force it will withstand before breaking. Chain testing determines tensile strength by measuring the torque force required to break a single link.