#10,000 Series K force transducer
In 1989 the first Series K force transducer was developed, in 2022 we have delivered the 10,000 Series K force transducer and that for the force range of 10,000 Newton. We think this is a reason to celebrate and to take a closer look at the development of our force sensors.
More than 30 years Series K - From the first force sensor to the champion of precision measurement
The history of the Series K force transducer began in 1989, the history of the first force transducer already in 1942, when Edward E. Simmons developed the first strain gauge-based force sensor. You would think after so many decades there would be nothing left to develop. But that' s not the case. Over the years, force sensors have become increasingly precise, and the number of components to be measured has grown constantly. Today's force sensors are capable of measuring forces from a few millinewtons to 50 meganewtons with an accuracy that no other technology is currently capable of. Force transducers are thus true masters of precision.
Just how accurate our force sensors are is demonstrated by their use as force transfer standards in test stands for calibrating other strain gauge-based sensors such as force sensors, load cells, or torque transducers. They convince with an accuracy three times higher than standard force transducers.
In addtition to the know-how of our developers, the increasing computer power and the ever better analysis tools also made this development possible. Based on calculations, they enable the engineer to find, for example, the optimal force transducer design, to optimize force application points or to determine the best strain gauge application points. GTM has been using these tools since the early 1990s. Thanks to today's models, new force transducers can thus be developed to production readiness in a fraction of the time and with a minimum of testing. Customer-specific special solutions can also be developed with little effort.
Wide application range demands a high number of requirements
Force transducers are used in a wide range of applications, such as testing machines and test stands for materials, component or function tests, in plastics and medical technology or in driving and flight simulators. They are also an important element in the calibration chain for force traceability to the national standard. In this context, they must be able to measure forces in different directions and with very rapid changes over time. For this purpose, their mechanical interfaces must be designed in such a way that they form a rigid and absolutely backlash-free connection with the connected machine components. Force transducers are therefore always installed in a statically multiple indeterminate manner. Furthermore, force sensors must be able to withstand a wide range of temperatures. Temperature is "the enemy of strain measurement" because it also causes strain, which the strain gauge cannot distinguish from strain caused by load. By cleverly interconnecting and specifically arranging the strain gauges, GTM has found a good solution to compensate for the temperature effect. Furthermore, by applying the bending ring principle, mechanical influences from bolt-on surfaces and eccentric force application are compensated.
What does a force transducer look like and how does it actually work?
Force sensors consist of a flat, cylindrical transducer body, the measuring spring, force introduction parts, strain gauges and additional electronic components. The force to be measured is introduced into the spring body via the force introduction parts and defined introduction surfaces. This elastically stretches or compresses the applied strain gauges, which in turn generates a change in electrical resistance that is converted by the strain gauge measurement electronics into a measured signal proportional to the force and can thus be further processed. The force transducers of the Series K use the bending ring principle as an integrated measuring method and thus set standards in terms of accuracy, reliability and quality of the measurement results. This has the particular advantage of low sensitivity to parasitic influences such as transverse forces, bending moments, torsional moments or temperature fluctuations.
What is so special about the strain gauge spirals?
Strain gauges are a very important element in force measurement. Force sensors are classically equipped with these strain gauges. If the application points are chosen wisely, they provide reliable measurement signals. But why now suddenly spirals instead of strips? Strain measurement spirals make results possible even in the highest accuracy classes. GTM is one of the few manufacturers of force transducers that uses these spirals. And not only that: these spirals are an originally patented in-house development of GTM. Even today, they are still manufactured and implemented in our own production.
Strain measurement spirals are ultra-thin resistance wires inserted in a carrier bed and wound into a spiral. Another advantage of spirals over strips is that they cover the entire measuring point of the transducer. They function homogeneously over the entire periphery. Therefore, there are no preferred directions. In addition, the strain gauge spirals can be supplied with higher supply voltages because the thermal energy generated can be distributed over a large area and absorbed without difficulty. This offers an additional metrological advantage.
Now let's take a look at what makes a series K force transducer so special:
+ Its compact design
- In its precision class, the Series K force sensor is one of the smallest and most precise transducers on the market.
- Its flat, cylindrical body is ideal for installation in a wide variety of constructions.
+ Its profile
By integrating the measurement signal, mechanical interference effects are optimally compensated over the entire transducer circumference.
The use of low creep materials and a creep-free strain gauge eliminates the need to compensate for creep.
+ Its force introduction
- By using force application rings, the greatest possible independence from the flatness and rigidity of the attachment parts is achieved.
+ Its integrating measuring principle
- Due to the bending ring principle with strain gauge spiral, the entire force flow is recorded. In addition, small measurement errors are negligible, since interference components are very strongly suppressed.
- Torsional moments have no influence.
- The force application parts are independent of the stiffness.
+ Its longevity
- Due to its design and the materials used, long-term stable measurement over many years and use under harsh environmental conditions is possible without any problems.
- Series K force transducers are hermetically sealed, i.e. the entire force sensor is metallically encapsulated and filled with inert gas. It is also available in a rust-resistant design. In this case, aerospace steels are used.
And where does the journey go for our force transducers now?
With regard to the nominal load, we consider the limits of what is achievable to have been more or less reached. Material and bolting technology are also reaching their limits. In terms of the number of components to be measured, however, there is still room for improvement.
It is much more important for us to further optimize our services for you, so that you can quickly and easily get your customized force transducer tailored to your requirements. Our set goal, time savings on your side in the procurement of your individual force sensor. Short delivery times and short, fast routes to your individually configured force transducer are what count here.
Do you already know our latest developed configurator of the Series K? If not, try it out right now and configure your individual Series K force transducer in less than a minute .
However, if you cannot find the right force sensor for your application among more than 13,000 variants, please contact us personally! Thanks to their many years of experience, our colleagues can provide advice and together we will find the right force sensor for your application.