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Power-User

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Strain Gauge

08/15/2008 8:07 PM

As a geek, I want to homebrew some stuff and would like to measure, at least calibrate, the stress put on a wood or metal beam and measure it with my computer.

Could someone please point me on where to RTFineM that would lead me to an appropriate answer.

Cost is a consideration.

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#1

Re: Strain Gauge

08/15/2008 9:41 PM

What does "RTFineM" mean?

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Anonymous Poster
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Strain Gauge

08/16/2008 12:25 AM

Read The F***ing (fine) Manual

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Active Contributor

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#3

Re: Strain Gauge

08/16/2008 10:58 PM

Try Vishay's website - they've been a leader in strain gauge technology for a lot of years and their technical notes are generally very good.

http://www.vishay.com/strain-gages/

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#4

Re: Strain Gauge

08/17/2008 12:03 AM
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Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Strain Gauge

08/17/2008 12:22 AM

The recommendation to check Vishay's website is right on. Their pubs will tell you everything you need to know about designing and using strain gauges. Be prepared though - strain gauges themselves are fairly cheap but the amplifiers and signal conditioners you need to use them will knock your socks off. You might be able to get some used ones or, if you are really REALLY good at circuit design abd construction, you might be able to build your own.

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Anonymous Poster
#6

Re: Strain Gauge

08/17/2008 7:23 AM

Be advised that a strain gauge does not measure stress directly. A strain gauge measures strain (or elongation) in inches/inch. To convert strain to stress, you need to multiply strain by the modulus of elasticity. Elastic modulus may be isotropic (the same in all directions) as in most metals, or it may be anisotropic (different values in different directions) as in wood or many composites. Vishay is a good resource.

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#7

Re: Strain Gauge

08/17/2008 9:24 AM

Going to a low level instrumentation such as strain gauges may be over doing it and difficult to implement on a wood beam.

Load cells or pre mounted strain gauges would possibly be more fun to use.

Omega engineering has all the information you may need and sells strain gauges as well as load cells.

For example their LCL series could be mounted to a wood beam, simple and fast. Such devices can also be bought to be welded to steel. All is in the calibration you then perform.

Do look at Measurement Specialties too.

All assuming you do know how to interface to your computer.

Good luck.

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