FlexiForce force sensors can measure force between almost any two surfaces and are durable enough to stand up to most environments. Our sensors are available off-the-shelf for prototyping or can be customized to meet the specific needs of your product design and application requirements.

FlexiForce sensors are utilized in many applications to detect and measure:

  • Relative change in force or applied load
  • Rate of change in force
  • Force thresholds and trigger appropriate action
  • Contact and/or touch

How does the force sensor work?

The FlexiForce sensor acts as a force sensing resistor in an electrical circuit. When the force sensor is unloaded, its resistance is very high. When a force is applied to the sensor, this resistance decreases. The resistance can be measured by a multimeter, then applying a force to the sensing area.

Why are FlexiForce sensors unique?

THIN

FLEXIBLE

CUSTOMIZABLE

The unique construction of FlexiForce sensors carries the following advantages:

  • thinness [0.008 in. (.203 mm)]
  • better linearity
  • measurement of higher loads
  • stable output with respect to load area

Custom Force Sensors

The unique construction and ink characteristics of FlexiForce sensors enable Tekscan to create custom-designed force sensing resistor sensors to meet your specific OEM needs.

FlexiForce sensors are ideal for OEM products due to our ability to customize:

  • Geometry - sensors can be designed in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet your application and product needs.
  • Ink technology - we offer three pressure-sensitive ink variations to meet your application and product needs: standard, enhanced, and high temperature.
  • Integration support - our team of mechanical, electrical, and application engineers are here to ensure a successful product integration.

To learn more about customizing a force sensor, visit the "Customization" tab above.


Why Do Engineers Choose FlexiForce?

Custom Force Sensors

The unique construction and ink characteristics of FlexiForce sensors enable Tekscan to create custom-designed force sensors to meet your specific needs. Are you looking to integrate a force sensor into your application?

Let's discuss! Consult an Engineer

FlexiForce Standard Sensors

FlexiForce force sensors can measure force between almost any two surfaces and are durable enough to stand up to most environments. Our sensors are available off-the-shelf for prototyping or can be customized to meet the specific needs of your product design and application requirements. The sensors are designed for use with your own electronics, multimeter, or our Quickstart Board.

Table IconFor a full view and comparison of sensor products, please visit our Force Sensor Product Table.

Standard Force Measurement System Sensors

The B201 and WB201 sensors are designed exclusively to use with the ELF (B201) and WELF2 (WB201) systems.

Accessories

Our accessories offer you further options for our standard force sensors. Whether you are looking to extend the sensor length or have trimmed your sensor and need a new connector, we have what you need. 

Custom Development

Engineering consultation

Our team made up of mechanical, electrical, and application engineers works closely with you throughout each stage of the design process to ensure the best sensor design for your application. For customers who need custom application software to complement their sensors, we team up with trusted partners to combine our expertise and develop complete specialized solutions. Engaging with our team saves you time, money, and resources. This design collaboration results in a lower cost, shorter design cycle, and ultimately, a successful product.

Our standard force sensors can be used for a proof of concept and have also been successfully integrated into a great range of applications and products across various industries. Standard sensors are available to purchase in small quantities for a proof of concept or large quantities for embedding into a product or application.

Here are some of the typical customization options available:

  • Shapes
    • Includes multi-point and different shaped sensing areas
  • Sizes
    • Our smallest sensor: 2 mm (.078 in.)
    • Our largest sensor: 368.3 mm x 292.1 mm (14.5 in. x 11.5 in.)
  • Material Options
    • Ink: standard, high-temperature, and enhanced stability series (ESS)
Multi-PointMulti-Point Custom ShapesCustom Shapes Standard Sensor IntegrationStandard Sensor Integration Square Sensing AreaSquare Sensing Area

Design Process

Our FlexiForce engineers want to provide you with the best force sensing solution for your application. We first begin with a discovery process, learning the requirements of your application and which force sensing solution fits best. Our team of electrical, mechanical, and application engineers consult with you and your team in order to design the ideal force sensor for your application. After initial discussions, you can test our standard sensors for a proof of concept or discuss a custom prototype sensor. Once the sensors are successfully tested in your specific application, Tekscan can provide you with a custom sensor design. We work with you to ensure the sensor works within your design and you get the results that were intended. Ultimately, our team strives to help you design a successful product.

Design Process

Custom Sensor Quote: Production Quantities

Custom sensor options are available for OEM applications requiring large quantities of sensors (typically 1000 pieces or more). Sensor piece-price is determined by a number of factors, including size, quantity, and performance criteria. To initiate the quoting process and learn more about capabilities, please complete the online Custom FlexiForce Sensor RFQ form.

A FlexiForce sales engineer will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your requirements and provide more detail regarding the customization process.

Quality Assurance

Tekscan, Inc. is committed to quality. Sensor design, manufacturing, and production happen at our company-owned ISO 9001 & 13485-certified facility in South Boston, MA. All of our sensors are also ROHS compliant and 100% tested to ensure they meet the agreed upon specifications.

How FlexiForce Sensors Work

The FlexiForce sensor acts as a force sensing resistor in an electrical circuit. When the force sensor is unloaded, its resistance is very high. When a force is applied to the sensor, this resistance decreases. The resistance can be measured by a multimeter, then applying a force to the sensing area. Figure 1 below shows both the Force vs. Resistance and Force vs. Conductance (1/R). Note that the conductance curve is linear, and therefore useful in calibration.

One way to integrate the FlexiForce sensor into an application is to incorporate it into a force-to-voltage circuit. A means of calibration must then be established to convert the output into the appropriate engineering units. Depending on the setup, an adjustment could then be done to increase or decrease the sensitivity of the force sensor. Figure 2 below shows a typical sensor response (based on our recommended drive circuit).

Output vs Force Chart


FlexiForce Sensor Construction

FlexiForce Sensor Construction

The FlexiForce force sensor is an ultra-thin, flexible printed circuit. The standard A201 force sensor is constructed of two layers of substrate (polyester) film. The high-temp model (HT201) is constructed of two layers of polyimide. On each layer, a conductive material (silver) is applied, followed by a layer of pressure-sensitive ink. Adhesive is then used to laminate the two layers of substrate together to form the force sensor. 

The active sensing area is defined by the silver circle on top of the pressure-sensitive ink. Silver extends from the sensing area to the connectors at the other end of the sensor, forming the conductive leads. A201 sensors are terminated with male square pins, allowing them to be easily incorporated into a circuit. The two outer pins of the connector are active and the center pin is inactive.

ZIF-Compatible Sensor Construction

Construction of the ZIF-compatible sensorConstruction of the ZIF-compatible sensor

Tekscan also offers a one-sided connection method for custom sensors, which allows you to utilize a ZIF or LIF connector.  A ZIF connector is typically mounted to a circuit board, and the sensor tail simply slides in to the connector.  A locking mechanism generally holds the sensor in place.

FlexiForce User Manual

For more detailed information about setting up and using your FlexiForce sensors, please download our FlexiForce user manual.

FlexiForce User Manual