A Buyer’s Guide To Load Cells

2016-06-04T07:48:23+00:00 4th June 2016|

Load cells are highly sensitive transducers which are the essential heart of every weighing system.
They are designed to sense force or weight under a wide range of conditions and there are different types and models to suit the various applications and requirements. Some types of load cell include: weighbridge load cells, on-board truck load cells, double-ended beam load cells, low profile load cells, tank and silo load cells, single point load cells and shear beam low cells.

It’s always best to consult experts when it comes to choosing weighing equipment as they can make recommendations in terms of individual applications and cost/performance ratios, but as an overview of load cells, you may find the following guide useful.

Compression Load Cells
• Available in many different sizes and mounts
• Capacity ranges from a few kilograms to over 100 tonnes
• Used in weighbridges, weigh silos, large industrial platform sales etc
• Ideal for weighing platforms that require a bit of ‘give’ during weighing

Shear Beam Load Cells
• Widely used in many industrial weighing applications
• Ideal for rigid weighing platforms and containers, e.g. weigh hoppers, platform scales and weigh bins.
• Available in various capacities and sizes
• Economical and versatile
• For best accuracy, shear beam load cells require load to be applied in one direction (not from the side or in a twisting motion)

Double-ended Shear beam load cells
• Ideal for applications where there is uneven, off centre and/or unpredictable loading eg onboard vehicle weighing
Folded shear beam load cells
• These look like S-type load cells, but they operate on compression rather than tension
• Can be used for dynamic weighing applications in conjunction with a suitable mounting assembly

Single point load cells
• Primarily used for top-loading, platform scales and some dynamic weigh applications
• They offer exceptional scale resolution, linearity, repeatability and stability.
• Their high accuracy, even in the presence of off-centre loading, gives them a distinct advantage over other types (e.g. shear beam load cells) where accuracy is compromised when side loading is present.

S-type load cell
• Designed to be used in applications where there is tension (pulling) as opposed to compression (squashing)
• Ideal for suspended weighing applications (i.e. where the weighing platform or container is mounted below the load cell)
• Typically supplied with eyebolts which attach to the top and bottom of the load cell and which connect to the load and mounting point
• Canister load cells
• High capacity load cells typically used in heavy industrial weigh systems
• Applications include weighbridges, platform scales and weigh silos
• Maximum capacities range from 7.5 tonnes to 200 tonnes
• A select range can be used for trade-approved weighing applications
• Hermetically sealed, therefore offer excellent protection against the environment
• Robust stainless steel construction means they are well suited for outdoor or wash-down areas
• Well-priced and widely available
• Some models come with constrainer kits which simplify the installation process.

Specialist application load cells
• Specialised load cells are used in particular situations, typically in-motion and off-centre applications
• Check availability from a reputable supplier

Precision transducer load cells
• Can be trade-approved for legal-for-trade weighing applications
• Widely used for all general industrial weighing
• Lower cost
• Can be used in agricultural and harsh environments
• Both tension and compression

A reputable weighing company will have experience with load cells of all types and models and will stock a range of different types and brands of load cells in order to meet their customers’ needs quickly and cost-effectively.

If you do need replacement load cells for an existing weighing system, we recommend that you deal with a supplier that isn’t restricted to a single brand of load cells. AccuWeigh, Australia’s leading supplier of weighing equipment and load cells stocks a variety of brands of load cells so that they can provide customers with the optimum solution for their needs in terms of performance, costs, suitability, compatibility etc.

Our extensive range of quality load cells includes A&D load cells, leading UK brand, Thames Side Sensors, PT Global, HBM and their own proprietary brand, AccuCell digital and analogue load cells. These products are certified for trade use in Australia and are suitable for most high capacity weighing applications, are hermetically sealed to IP68 so they can be used in wet and/or aggressive environments, are ideal for retro-fitting into existing systems because of their low overall height profile and with their high internal impedance, they ensure minimal signal loss over long cable runs.