What is a strain gauge?
A strain gauge is an electrical component which converts deformation into an electrical resistance change. The deformation can be measured by means of tension, compression, torsion, shearing or bending situations. The electrical resistance of most strain gauges is changing because of mechanical strain, thermal strain or residual strain.
On this page you see the strain gauges we offer. Our experts are ready to give you more information and help you make a choice. For any questions, please contact us.
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What are the different types of strain gauges?
At Zemic Europe we define different strain gauge types.
We can describe them by different characteristics.
To determine which kind of strain gauge you need, you can use these characteristics as filter options on this page:
- Grid material
- Backing material
- Rated resistance
To order your strain gauge(s), you can also use our strain gauge selector. You can choose the exact specifications of the strain gauge you need (like material and dimensions) and then we will contact you to help you to select the right product.
Grid and backing material
A strain gauge always consists of a backing layer and a grid made of alloy. The backing foil will be connected to a structure or element from which the strain needs to be measured.
There are two different kinds of standard grid materials available at Zemic; constantan and karma alloys. The grid pattern is photo etched on a non-conductive backing foil.
Constantan is an alloy consisting of copper and nickel. Constantan is the alloy which is mostly used as an alloy grid. This is because the alloy offers the best combination of alloy properties. Karma is an alloy consisting of chrome and nickel. The main benefit of this material is the high fatigue factor. Karma alloy can also be used in high temperature environments.
Backing layers are offered from polymide, phenolic, phenolic resin, epoxy resin with glass fibres, polymide with glass fibres and polyurethane.
The material we use for a certain strain gauge is specified in the strain gauge naming system. When you have the strain gauge description, you can identify all specific materials.
Besides the material we define, different types of strain gauges based on the geometry. We offer linear, double linear, shear, double shear, columnar, 90°C- Rosette, 45°C-Rosette, half bridge, full bridge and membrane strain gauges. The geometry of the grid defines the type of strain gauge.
The rated resistance vary from 60 Ohm till 4000 Ohm. The most common values used for strain gauges are 120, 350 and 1000 Ohm.
We offer standard strain gauges and we also offer strain gauges for the following specific purposes:
- Sensor production
- High temperatures
- Under water (500m)
- High elongation
How do I connect a strain gauge?
A strain gauge is always connected with wires. Depending on your application, expertise and time we can deliver different kinds of strain gauges;
- With exposed solder tabs. This will enable you to solder the wires your self.
- With solder tin dots.
- With pre-assembled wires. The different kind of wires we offer are standard lead wire, PVC lead wires, belt lead wires, column lead wires, varnish wrapped wires and high temperature lead wires.
If you have any specific requirements, please let us know. Our strain gauge experts are ready for your inquiry:
How are strain gauges used?
By applying a strain gauge to a material, we can measure stress in the material, changes in shape or when strain occurs.
When you combine several strain gauges you create a bridge of Wheatstone. In this configuration of four, or a multiple of four, strain gauges are used. This is the principle we use to build our Zemic strain gauge sensors. This kind of strain gauge sensor is called a load cell or force sensor.
We produce strain gauges for our customers and we use our strain gauges for our own sensor production as well. To get a good understanding of the series we deliver please read our blog: “What are strain gauges made of and how to select the right thermal expansion coefficient?”
Example of how strain gauges are used
We publish new case studies on a regular basis. Each case study is about force measurement and how Zemic contributed in a project. A nice example of a case study where strain gauges contributed to a great cause is the one of Project March.
Project March is a team of the TU Delft that develops the Exoskeleton. This is a motorized robotic suit, that can be used to help people with a spinal cord injury to stand up and walk again. They goal is to help people with a Spinal cord injury to fully participate in daily activities. In this way the exoskeleton contributes to their quality of life.
During the development of the exoskeleton, the forces on the frame are also examined whilst the pilot controls it. These forces are measured by using strain gauges. Please read here all about why Project March used Zemic Strain gauges in the development of the exoskeleton.
Zemic produces strain gauges
Zemic is a strain gauge manufacturer. All of our strain gauges are produced according to the OIML R62 regulations and the RoHS environmental directives. They are also in accordance with the needs for sophisticated stress analysis and high-precision strain gauge sensors.
With professional technology Zemic is able to produce an annual output of over 50 million stable, reliable and first-class quality strain gauges. These are divided in different types and over a thousand different specifications. Thanks to sustainable and efficient technology research and development systems, Zemic maintains the strict quality assurance system.
Each package of strain gauges we deliver contains a specific datasheet. On this datasheet you can find all the information of the strain gauge, the quantity, production date and batch number.
Why use strain gauges from Zemic Europe?
Zemic is one of the leading strain gauges manufacturers in the world. We have over 50 years of experience in the development and production of strain gauges. Zemic produces a wide variation of strain gauges, with high quality and in high volume. With our experience and development expertise, Zemic has become one of the largest manufacturers of strain gauges.
Zemic Europe takes care of the sales, marketing and distribution within Europe. Zemic Europe is a centre of competence within the weighing industry and is able to supply you with the best solution for stress analysis and weighing applications.
We would like to be your partner in the field of force measurement. We offer you the following benefits:
- Fast delivery: We have thousands of strain gauges in stock ready for immediate delivery throughout Europe. When needed we can offer a 24h delivery service.
- Best quality /service / price ratio: With more than 35 years of being active in the field of weighing and our 130.000m2 high tech production facility we can offer the best quality / service / price ratio. Our customers value us as an excellent supplier. At Zemic you have a fixed contact person, who in most cases speaks your language.
- Wide range of strain gauges: the combinations you can make are almost endless. Whether you need 1000 Ohm or copper plated solder tabs, please let us know and we will help you.
- Custom made products: When a standard strain gauge does not fit your needs we are capable of customization. Daily 225 engineers are working on special custom made strain gauge solutions. We like to think along with you for the best solution. This is possible for both sampling and for series production.
In case you want to read more about Zemic Europe, see: about us.
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