Beyond the product data sheet: Comparing strain gage load cells for industrial weighing
As users of industrial weighing systems, engineers must select the most appropriate strain gage load cell for their specific application. The most commonly used load cells have a cantilever beam design. This article compares three types of cantilever beam load cell designs: the single cantilever differential bending beam, the single cantilever shear beam, and the double cantilever shear beam. Each type of load cell makes similar performance and reliability claims, each has similar specifications on their product data sheets. The author reviews the design features and operating principles of each type and illustrates the importance of going beyond product data sheets when making selection decisions for weight measurements in industrial environments.
A strain gage load cell consists of a piece of metal, referred to as the element, to which strain gages have been bonded [Fig 1]. The general objective of load cell design is to bond strain gages to the element in such a way that an applied force will be accurately measured.