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Mechanics of Materials

Axial stress:

a

F

A

Strain:

axial strain dD

a

D

transverse strain

t

dL

L

Poisson ratio:



t

a

Modulus elasticity:

E

Strain Gauges

Strain gauges: for measuring force, pressure, torque, and strain.

How ?

Convert these forms of input into mechanical strain using an elastic member, which is then converted into resistance change.

Resistance change is converted into voltage using a bridge circuit, ie. Wheatstone bridge circuit

Must be properly calibrated first.

Strain Gauges

Strain gauges changes resistance due to tension/compression in the longitudinal direction

Strain Gauges

Electrical resistance:

R

L

A

Resitance relationship to strain:

Strain Gauges: Calculation Example

Strain Gauges: Calculation Example

Strain Gauges: Data Example

Strain Gauges Typical Values

Electrical Resistance, R

120 Ohm or 350 Ohm

1000 Ohm with plastic materials

A high Gage Factor is desirable because a large change in R is produced for a given strain

Metal GF= 1.6 to 4

Resistivity does not change with the strain

Semiconductor GF= 80 to 200

Fragile and sensitive to changes in temperature

Axial strain range = 10 -6 to 10 3

dR=0.00024 Ohm to 0.24 Ohm

Notice how small this dR

Need to utilize Wheatstone bridge circuit

Strain Gauges: Gauge Factor Table

Most GF decreases as temperature increase (NTC)

Potential Error Sources with Strain Gauges

Application errors:

Gauge may be damaged during installation

Need to verify resistance before stress

Electrical and magnetic field noise

Uneed shielded lead wires and insulated coatings

Temperature effects

Thermal expansion of material

Self heating of strain gages

Wheatstone Bridge Circuit

Balanced condition (E AC =0) when R 1 R 3 =R 2 R 4 or consider R 1 =R 2 =R 3 = R 4

Wheatstone Bridge Circuit: One Active Arm

Wheatstone Bridge Circuit: Two Active Arms

Wheatstone Bridge Circuit: Two Active Arms

Temperature compensation:

Wheatstone Bridge Circuit: Four Active Arms