B3.1 - Increased Requirements for Higher Nominal Forces, Necessities and Possibilities to Measure Them

SENSOR+TEST Conferences 2011
2011-06-07 - 2011-06-09
Proceedings SENSOR 2011
B3 - Mechanical Sensors I
A. Schäfer - Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH, Darmstadt (Germany)
252 - 256


With the further advance in industrial applications the task of measuring high forces is getting increasingly important. Several new fields of application such as wind energy generation require forces of up to 5MN or higher. But also requirements in terms of accuracy are growing rapidly.

So called foil type strain gauges are widely used as pick-up principle in force measurement. The vast majority of force transducers as well as load cells are based on them. They are available in a wide variety of measuring bodies such as column type, ring torsional design, S-shape type or simply bending beams. Measurement of both, tension and compression force, can be realised without additional effort.

Force transducers based on foil type strain gauges can be used to build up to highest nominal loads and there is no reason for a limit. Also, higher nominal forces do not inevitable mean large geometries and e.g. designs based on the measurement of shear forces can be quite compact, especially in vertical direction.

Wind power systems are a good example for the need of industry to measure and calibrate higher forces. Nowadays wind turbines are considerably bigger and taller than in the past. This is especially true for wind turbines off-shore. There is a clear trend of going offshore and this potential is tremendous. Finally more than half of the power of renewable sources will come from Wind energy. Of course the major element of progress in energy generation has also the highest demands and an average life time of 20 years corresponds to very high numbers of life cycles. The paper describes demands to measuring technique and how they can be fulfilled.

One can summarise, that from the engineers point of view there is no reason why force transducers based on foil type strain gauges would not be the ideal way for highest forces. For all the complex needs there are integrated solutions with standard force transducers up to 5MN and customised versions up to 20 MN through a comprehensive range of amplifiers and software and services for force calibration.