5 Tips for Successful Force Measurement with FlexiForce™
Whether you've recently purchased a pack of FlexiForce™ sensors or a colleague has dropped a sample on your desk, you might be wondering the best way to get started. You may be asking yourself questions like "What type of load can I apply to the sensor?" or "How do I mount the sensor?" While every application is unique, there are a few universal considerations and best practices to set you up for success when working with thin and flexible force sensors. Here are the 5 Critical Steps for Success when getting started with FlexiForce:
1. Follow the 100/70 Rule for Even Loading
Ideally, 100% of the force should be concentrated within the sensing area, and 70- 85% of the sensing area should be loaded. A load actuator (puck) is recommended for two scenarios: distributed and point load.
2. Minimize Shear
Shear creates plastic deformation of the sensors. If your application involves shear force, protect the sensor with a material like Mylar or thin stainless steel.
3. Mount Sensor
The sensor should be secured to one of the load bearing surfaces. Double-sided tape is a typical solution. Note that Tekscan can provide a “peel-and-stick” backing on custom sensors. Holes can also be designed into the sensor for screw/clamp-type mounting. AVOID hard-setting adhesives or epoxies which will disrupt the way force is transmitted to the sensing area.
4. Integrate Sensor: Drive Circuitry
Our recommended circuits will help you achieve a linear output. We also offer a QuickStart Board and a complete OEM Development Kit. Ask your account representative or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
5. Calibrate Sensor
Calibration is crucial for achieving a linear output and eliminating part and assembly variability. When designing the sensor into a product, calibration should be incorporated after assembly. See the Calibration QuickStart Guide for FlexiForce Sensors.
More Integration Resources
Are you interested in learning more about embedding FlexiForce sensors into an OEM application? Please visit our FlexiForce Integration Resources Library to access valuable how-to videos and step by step integration guides complete with mechanical and electrical considerations for every phase of design.
Questions? Contact a FlexiForce engineer today.