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8 Tips to Consider When Buying a Strain Gage Amplifier

8 Tips to Consider When Buying a Strain Gage Amplifier

10 August 2021

Gantner Instruments: The strain gage is one of the most important tools of the electrical measurement technique applied to the measurement of mechanical quantities. As their name indicates, they are used for the measurement of strain.

Strain gages have endless uses in structural test and monitoring applications. Are you getting the most signal out of your strain amplifier? In this blog, we share eight tips to help you choose the right strain gage amplifier for your data acquisition system.

For which applications can strain gage measurements be used?

Strain gage technology has practically unlimited uses in structural test and monitoring applications, like durability testing of structural components in the automotive and rolling stock industry. The use of strain gage technology in aviation, military, and space applications has a long history. Strain gages are bonded directly to structural load-bearing components for static and fatigue testing of components and sub-assemblies. In the renewable wind energy industry, strain gage technology is applied to test the structural performance of wind turbine blades and bearings and structural health monitoring of wind turbines in the field. Strain gages may also be used to monitor civil engineering structures (bridges, tunnels, railways, dams), oil and gas pipelines, or nuclear plants.

Why is choosing the right strain amplifier so important?

The most common way of strain measurement is using a single strain gage in a three-wire quarter-bridge configuration. This quarter-bridge configuration brings specific challenges for proper signal conditioning. The importance of taking care in selecting a strain amplifier cannot be understated – a wrong choice could cost more in time and money in the future.

Here are eight tips to help make the right choice for a strain gage amplifier for your data acquisition system.

  1. Getting the most signal out of your strain amplifier
  2. Measurement range matters
  3. Measure strain, not temperature
  4. Choosing the optimal bridge excitation voltage 
  5. Pay attention to the stability of the completion resistor
  6. Avoid measurement errors with long cable runs
  7. Knock out noise with carrier frequency technology 
  8. Go for optical strain gages in extreme environments

To learn even more about the helpful tips, visit our latest blog on the homepage.

How to avoid that your strain measurement turns into a temperature measurement?

Download our free white paper to understand the importance of choosing the right bridge completion resistor.

In addition, you will learn how to reduce noise with our carrier frequency technology and automatically compensate for measurement errors caused by long sensor cables.

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