Load Cell Technology
Traditional load cells are the most well-known transducers for measuring force. Strain gauges, piezoelectric elements, and variable capacitance are all examples of load cell technology. In more recent years, thin and flexible, but accurate technology has advanced to become a viable alternative to the load cell.
Load Cell Alternative: Piezoresistive Sensors
FlexiForce™ piezoresistive sensors are an unobtrusive, economical alternative to the traditional load cell. The FlexiForce sensor consists of a proprietary piezoresistive material sandwiched between two pieces of flexible polyester film with printed silver conductors on each inner half. The conductive traces form electrical connections to external circuits, resulting in a paper-thin (8 mils thick) sensor. These sensors are available for purchase online.
Load Cell or FlexiForce™?
Bottom line: when precision is crucial, a load cell is the solution. In applications where space and price are important factors, FlexiForce sensors, with ±3% linearity and low-cost off-the-shelf options, are the right choice.
Our free eBook by Tekscan engineers and Machine Design magazine, The Difference Between Force Measurement Techniques, will help you learn more about force sensing technologies and when thin & flexible piezoresistive force sensors are a good alternative to the load cell.
Customer Testimonial: Choosing FlexiForce Over a Load Cell
SSI Wireless President Michele Mordacq describes her company's rationale for selecting FlexiForce technology over a load cell for a recent project involving development of an inventory management prototype system:
Ready to go Deeper into Considering Piezoresistive Sensors in your Device? Get the Force Sensors for Design Ebook
This eBook will discuss:
- Additional comparison of force sensing technologies such as load cells, piezoresistive, and capacitive sensors.
- Details about power consumption, size, cost, and durability.
- The background of thin and flexible tactile sensors.
- Real-life examples of how thin and flexible tactile force sensors have been used successfully in devices across applications and industries.
- Important considerations in choosing a technology partner, including engineering support, customization, and manufacturing capabilities.