The technical speak break down 

Kate Chapman
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Glossary for all things load cells

BALL AND CUP

Accessory used in installations to allow movement where high accuracy is required.

Ball and Cup

BI-DIRECTIONAL

A load cell which can be used to monitor both positive and negative changes.

COMPENSATED TEMPERATURE RANGE

The temperature range a load cell can operate in to full scale and still be reliable.

COMPRESSION LOAD CELL

A load cell designed only for the measurement of compression forces/weight.

Compression Load Cell

ECCENTRIC LOAD

Any load applied parallel to but not parallel with the primary axis.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

The specifications the load cell is expected to perform to, usually including an IP rating.

FULL SCALE

Refer to RATED CAPACITY

FULL SCALE OUTPUT

The difference between the minimum output (normally zero) and the rated capacity.

GAUGE PRESSURE

Pressure related to the atmosphere. Positive difference between pressure measured and existing atmospheric pressure.

HYSTERESIS

The total change between the load cell output readings for the same applied load. One reading recorded by increasing the measurement from zero and the other by decreasing the measurement from the maximum capacity.

INSULATION RESISTANCE

The electrical resistance measured in ohms between any electrical connector pin or lead wire and the load cell. Usually higher than 500Mohms measured at 500VDC.

IP RATINGS

The IP rating is the grade of protection the load cell has from dust, water and impact from electrical equipment and enclosures. The system is recognised in most European countries. See what the ratings mean.

JUNCTION BOX/SUMMER BOX

An electrical circuit generally used with load cells, enabling the connection of two or more load cells together. Can be supplied with balancing components, to adjust the sensitivities of one or more transducers individually.

Junction Box

LINE PRESSURE

The maximum pressure in a vessel/pipe for different pressure measurement.

LOAD BEAM LOAD CELL

A load cell employing as its primary transduction element a cantilevered beam, in which the strain due to bending is sensed.

LOAD BUTTON

The round/button shape on the top surface of a load cell where the load is applied to allow movement within the installation. Often supplied as a screwed in accessory.

LOAD CELL

A transducer used to create an electrical signal whose magnitude is directly proportional to the force being measured.

LOAD SOCKET

Used along with a Load Button to allow movement within the installation.

Load Socket

FREQUENCY

The frequency of free vibration under no load or no pressure conditions.

OPERATING TEMPERATURE RANGE

The range of temperature a load cell can fully function in and still meet all specifications.

OUTPUT IMPEDANCE

The resistance measured on the output terminals of a load cell at normal temperature, with no measurement applied, and with the excitation terminals open-circuit.

OVERLOAD STOP

A mechanical device, such as a bolt, installed with the load cell as part of the mount kit to prevent overloading. Most often found on low capacity load cells.

OVERRANGE, SAFE

The maximum load/weight that can be applied to the load cell without causing a permanent change in the performance specifications.

PRIMARY AXIS

The axis the force/load is designed for.

RATED CAPACITY

The maximum force/weight a load cell is designed to measure.

RATIONALISED OUTPUT

The maximum difference in output of multiple load cells of the same type and range when all reach full scale capacity (% of the output at full rated load).

SENSITIVITY

The ratio of change in the load cell output compared to the change in the value of the measurement.

SHEAR BEAM LOAD CELL

A load cell employing as its primary transduction element a beam in which the shear strain is sensed.

Shear Beam Load Cell

SIDE LOAD

Any load acting 90 degrees to the main axis of the axial load application.

SINGLE POINT LOAD CELL

A load cell which the output is independent of bending moment within qualified limits.

SPAN

The difference between the limits of the range from zero to full scale.

STANDARD TEST CONDITIONS

The environmental conditions under which the measurements should be taken. If measurements are taken under any other condition, result may vary. These conditions are as follows:-

Temperature: 23°C ±2°C

Barometric pressure: 950 to 1085 mbar

STRAIN GAUGE

An electrical resistor which reads the force/weight that’s applied to the load cell.

SWIVEL FOOT/SWIVEL FEET

Accessory to prevent side loading and provide the best performance.

THERMAL SENSITIVITY SHIFT

The change in rated output due to a change in surrounding temperature. A percentage change or reading per degree C change in temperature, over the compensated temperature range.

TARE

Amount deducted from the gross weight in ascertaining net weight.

TARE OFFSET

The offset added to a load cell output to cancel the effect of a tare load.

TENSION LOAD CELL

A load cell designed only for the measurement of tension forces/weight.

Tension Load Cell

THERMAL ZERO SHIFT

The change in zero balance due to a surrounding temperature change. Usually expressed as a percentage change in full scale output per degree C change in surrounding temperature over the compensated temperature range.

TORQUE TRANSDUCER

A load cell which the output is proportional to applied torsional moment about the primary axis.

TRANSDUCER

A device which when force/weight is applied, a physical stimulus produces an electrical output in proportion to that stimulus.

TRANSDUCTION ELEMENT

The electrical part of the load cell where the output originates.

TRANSMITTER

A load cell has integral active electronics which include voltage. Transmitters/Amplifiers read the electronic measure and sent to one of various outputs.

Digital Transmitter

TRANSVERSE SENSITIVITY

The sensitivity of a load cell to transverse acceleration or other transverse measurements.

ZERO BALANCE

The output signal of a load cell at rated excitation and with no measurement applied. Often displayed as a percentage of full scale.

PT610 Digital Indicator
PT610 Digital Indicator

PT610 Digital Indicator

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