Low Cost Compression Load Cells Reduce Force Sensing Price Barrier for Consumer and Medical Markets

Variohm EuroSensor has released a new packaged low cost compression load cell from Measurement Specialities Inc (MEAS) that combines MEMs strain gauge sensor technology with high volume manufacturing techniques to enable low-cost force sensing for a whole new class of "smart" consumer appliance, business equipment and medical product applications.

Available in four standard load ranges from 0 – 44 N to 0 – 444 N, the FX1901 has a compact 'coin cell' package of less than 30 mm diameter with a button style concentrator tip and anti rotational mounting. With a typical 5 VDC excitation voltage, the load cell has a ratiometric span of 20 mV/V, a zero force output of +/- 15 mV and an accuracy of just 1% of span.

The numerous usage possibilities for the cost competitive device includes appliance payload and balance monitoring for domestic washers and dryers, power and user weight indication for chiropractic and exercise equipment, load feedback for patient hoists and physical therapy devices, hand tool force output, and many more applications where force sensing may have been considered cost-excessive to include in the past.

The FX1901 employs MEAS' specially developed Microfused™ piezoresisitive strain gauge technology which has been well tried and tested in demanding applications such as aerospace. The process fuses the micro-machined strain gauge with high temperature glass and a stainless steel force measuring flexure. Eliminating the age-sensitive organic epoxies used in traditional load cell designs, the technology provides exceptional long term span and zero stability, low noise, high over-range, high reliability and essentially unlimited cycle life.


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