They are used widely in mechanical testing, ongoing system monitoring, and as components in devices such as industrial scales.
The measuring of levelness and tension is the main purpose of force sensors. The information that they monitor is then signaled to a recorder or other computerized data collection system. Force sensors can utilize analog or digital technology for the recording and transferring of information, just like load cells do.
The two major styles of measurement done are compression and tension; compression is a negative measurement force on a single axis, while tension is a positive measurement force also done on a single axis.
Another common style is shear, which is done on two axes that are offset. When they are used to measure any variance in certain ongoing systems, such as gas lines, they can sound an alarm or shut down the system itself until the discrepancy is corrected.
Such pieces of machinery are also used in a variety of larger measuring devices used in industrial manufacturing, food processing, construction, aerospace, chemical plants, and automotive industries.
Force sensors can vary greatly in size and shape depending on the type of use. The two basic components of a force sensor are the sensing element and circuit. The sensing element is most often a strain gauge, which is comprised of a coil; the circuit is the connection of these gauges throughout the force sensor. However, it can also be a piezoelectric sensor that functions by way of a crystal but still gets the same sort of results.
Force sensor outputs include analog voltage, analog current, analog frequency, switch or alarm, serial, and parallel.
The most basic designs consist of four gauges, which make up the measuring circuit. More complex and detailed sensors can have up to thirty gauges as part of the measuring circuit. The more gauges inside the force sensor, the more sensitive the sensor is in recording and monitoring variance in measurement. The formation of these gauges and circuits is usually set up according to the Wheatstone bridge equation, which was developed during the early eighteen thirties.