Load cell and Load cell Types

If need to read by post on Load Cell, if you are new to my site and read about strain gauge load cell to have a better idea about load cells

There are two types of Load Cells, they are
  1. Hydraulic load cells
  2. Pneumatic load cells
Hydraulic Load Cell

Basic Priniple of Hydraulic Load cell

When a force is applied on a liquid medium contained in a confined space, the pressure of the liquid increases. This increase in pressure of the liquid is proportional to the appilied force. Hence a measure of the increase in pressure of the liquid becomes a measure of the appilied force when calibrated.

Description of Hydraulic Load Cell

construction of hydraulic load cellThe main parts of a hydraulic load cell are as follows

A dirphragm
A piston with a loading platform (as shown in figure) placed on top of the diaphragm.
A liquid medium which is under a pre-loaded pressure is on the other side of the diaphragm.
A pressure gauge (bourdon tube type) connected to the liquid medium.

Operation of Hydraulic Load Cell

The force to be measured is applied to the piston.
The appilied force moves the piston downwards and deflects the diaphragm and this deflection of the diaphragm increases the pressure in the liquid medium (oil).
This increase in pressure of the liquid medium is proportional to the applied force. The increase in pressure is measured by the pressure gauge which is connected to the liquid meduim.
The pressure is calibrated in force units and hence the indication in the pressure gauge becomes a measure of the force applied on the piston.

Note about Hydraulic Load cell:

As the hydraulic load cell is sensitive to pressure changes, the load cell should be adjusted to zero setting before using it to measure force.
This hydraulic load cell have an accuracy of the order of 0.1 percent of its scale and can measure loads upto upto 2.5*10^5 Kgf
The resolution is about 0.02 prcent.

Pneumatic Load Cell

Basic Principle of Pneumatic Load Cell

If a force is applied to one side of a diaphragm and an air pressure is applied to the other side, some particular value of pressure will be necessary to exactly balance the force. This pressure is proportional to the applied force.

Description of pneumatic Load cell

The main parts of a pneumatic load cell are as follows:

A corrugated diaphragm with its top surface attached with arrangements to apply force.
An air supply regulator, nozzle and a pressure gauge arranged as shown in figure.
A flapper arranged above the nozzle as shown in figure.

Operation of Pneumatic Load cell

pneumatic load cells
The force to be measured is applied to the top side of the diaphragm. Due to this force, the diaphragm deflects and causes the flapper to shut-off the nozzle opening.Now an air supply is provided at the bottom of the diaphragm. As the flapper closes the nozzle opening, a back pressure results underneath the diagram. This back presssure acts on the diaphragm producing an upward force. Air pressure is regulated until the diaphragm returns to the pre-loaded position which is indicated by air which comes out of the nozzle. At this stage, the corresponding pressure indicated by the pressure gauge becomes a measure of the appilied force when calibrated.


The pneumatic load cell can measure loads upto 2.5*10^3 Kgf.
The accuracy of this system is 0.5 percent of the full scale.
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