Capacitive load cells simplify sensing

Oct. 26, 2006
Most load cells on the market use a cantilever outfitted with strain gages to measure loads.


Such cells also need a bulky and expensive signal conditioner to make them useful. Engineers at Loadstar Sensors, Mountain View, Calif. (, use a capacitive sensing scheme in their CS Series sensors. They also combine the signal conditioner and sensor in a package that measures 0.89-in. thick and has a 2.5-in. diameter.

The sensor uses a 5-V input signal and outputs a 0 to 5-V analog signal that is proportional to the load. Full-scale output range is typically 2,000 mV, 10 times that of traditional strain-gage load cells. Typical sensitivity is 40 mV/lb, with response times of 20 msec and large signal-to-noise ratios. Accuracy is 1% of full-scale output (FSO), and long-term drift is 0.3% of FSO per 30 min. It operates in temperatures from 0 to 70°C. The sensor is housed in a weather-resistant, stainlesssteel enclosure.

Sponsored Recommendations

How BASF turns data into savings

May 7, 2024
BASF continuously monitors the health of 63 substation assets — with Schneider’s Service Bureau and EcoStruxure™ Asset Advisor. ►Learn More: https://www.schn...

Agile design thinking: A key to operation-level digital transformation acceleration

May 7, 2024
Digital transformation, aided by agile design thinking, can reduce obstacles to change. Learn about 3 steps that can guide success.

Can new digital medium voltage circuit breakers help facilities reduce their carbon footprint?

May 7, 2024
Find out how facility managers can easily monitor energy usage to create a sustainable, decarbonized environment using digital MV circuit breakers.

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!