Technical Blog

Load Cell Specifications

When selecting a load cell for use in an application, there are many different specifications which need to be taken into consideration.

The requirements of each specification will help to determine which load cell your application requires.

Measuring range/ Capacity of Load Cells

The measuring range of a load cell is the difference between the weight limits of the load cell. Load cells have a capacity up to a particular weight; for example 3kg, 5kg, 10kg etc.

The measuring range of a load cell is different depending on the type of load cell. It is important to determine the capacity required for the application to ensure a load cell with sufficient measuring range is selected. The measuring range of each load cell we offer can be found on the product datasheet.

Load Cell Accuracy

Load cell accuracy can vary based on different external factors including temperature, creep, hysteresis and repeatability. Accuracy can be described as the difference between the measured result of force and the actual applied level of force.

In load cells, accuracy is measured in classes with a letter followed by a number, for example C2, C3 etc. all load cells are highly accurate, the highest level of accuracy we offer is C6, which is 0.0116% accuracy.

There is also an OIML approval which states that the load cell is “legal for trade” and conforms to an agreed set of requirements including an accuracy level.

Find out more about load cell accuracy in our blog post.

Load Cell Resolution

The resolution of a load cell is the smallest weight change which can be measured by that load cell. It is the smallest input change which will cause the out-put to change. Like with accuracy, some external factors can have an effect on load cell resolution so it is important to take these into consideration.

It is also essential to understand that high resolution on its own does not mean that the load cell is more accurate. It must be coupled with high accuracy to achieve the results required.

Sensitivity of Load Cells

In applications where the changes in force are very slight, the load cell required will have to be highly sensitive. The sensitivity of the load cell refers to the change in output of the load cells which corresponds to the input and how small of an input change can lead to an output change.

Load cells with high sensitivity can detect smaller input changes.

Zero Balance

Zero balance is the output of a load cell when there is no load added. It can also be referred to as “Zero Offset” and is used to check if the load cell has been overloaded or exposed to substantial amount of shock/vibration to cause it to become distorted or damaged.

A test is performed whereby the load cell is in a “no-load” condition – removing all weight including dead weight, the signal leads are detached and the voltage across +/- signals is measured. This can be compared to the Zero Balance details on the datasheet. If the measured detail is different to the specified measurement the load cell may not be performing accurately. 

More about Load Cells

A Load cell is a type of transducer which is used to convert force or load into a measurable electrical signal output. There are many different types of load cells available;

  • Strain gauge load cells
  • Hydraulic load cells
  • Pneumatic load cells
  • Piezo resistive load cells
  • Inductive load cells

Strain gauge load cells are by far the most common and used in a variety of different industries. Strain gauges are bonded to the internal systems within load cells. When pressure is added to the load cell, the strain gauge is compressed, and this distortion alters the output. This is how force is measured. Find out more about how load cells work in our blog post

Load Cells from Variohm

We have a wide range of load cells available on our website. We have different types including single point, compression, on-board, s-type and more.

Our load cells come from our trusted suppliers, many of them have OIML approval and are RoHS compliant.

For more information on load cell specifications or to discuss an application please contact us. 

Article published on: 21/03/2022