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Load Cells: The Heart Of Your Weighing System

Load cells, or commonly known as load cell transducers, are critical yet significant components in most industrial weighing systems. By definition, load cells are sensors that measure and convert weight- or more accurately, directional force into an electrical signal. Designed to be a highly accurate device, load cells can be used to measure compression, tension, shear forces or bending. 

How Does A Load Cell Work?

Within the load cell structure are groups of areas designed to be ‘stressed’ when a load or force is applied. These areas are bonded by thin elastic materials called ‘Strain Gauges’ made up of stainless steel and are fixed inside the load cells. Whenever a force or pressure is applied on the load cell, it bends or stretches causing the strain gauge to move along with it. When the cross-section of the strain gauge changes, its electrical resistivity also changes and gets altered, thereby changing the output voltage.

In an industrial setting, perhaps the most commonly used type of load cell is the strain gauge load cell. A typical industrial load cell’s body is made up of flexible metals where strain gauges have been secured. Whenever force is applied, a slight deformation happens on the spring element. It usually returns back to its original shape as it is designed to be flexible and elastic. 

Whenever the shape of the spring element changes, the shape of the strain gauges attached to it also changes which results in either decreasing or increasing of electrical resistance. Every time that a current passes through the strain gauges, the resistance variation will show in the voltage output. Since the change in output is equal to the amount of weight applied, the weight of the object being measured can now be determined thanks to the change in voltage.

How Does A Load Cell Conduct Measurements?

As seen on the image above, when strained, the strain gauge’s body relies on the amount of proportion applied.


As seen on the image above, every time a force is applied, the load cell changes its form. It usually becomes deformed while changing its resistance at the same time. The deformation is actually really small, you won’t even notice it. When voltage is applied to the input terminals of the load cell, the outgoing voltage from the output terminal becomes proportional to the change in resistance of the strain gauge. This is how a load cell converts force into an electrical signal.  

Why Do We Use Load Cells?

Load cells find their application in a variety of industries that demand accuracy and precision, which means that they play such an important role in modern commerce. Global sales still rely on precise weight measurement, Industrial companies require precise quality control systems, while Manufacturing companies need consistency and safety processes.

Load cells are also widely used in Medical and Laboratory settings to achieve accurate measurements for a wide variety of scientific and research purposes. From measuring things as small as a needle to as heavy as big drilling machines, you will find load cells everywhere.

Compared to traditional mechanical platform weighing devices, load cells are proven to be a far more reliable and cost-effective choice for companies in the long-run. 

Questions About Load Cells?

Load cells are the most essential part of any electronic weighing system and are designed to sense force or weight under a wide range of adverse conditions. Maximize your business operations and workforce productivity with the leading supplier of robust packaging and bulk handling equipment, Australian Weighing Equipment or The AWE Group. The AWE Group is the Top Weighing Equipment Technicians in Australia, and we consider the cost of equipment and machinery as an investment for your business’ future. Give us a call:

Sydney Office and NSW Office (1 300 044 044)

Queensland Office (07 3423 1388)

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