load cell

is a transducer that is used to convert a force into an electrical signal. This conversion is indirect and happens in two stages. Through a mechanical arrangement, the force being sensed deforms a strain gauge. The strain gauge measures the deformation (strain) as an electrical signal, because the strain changes the effective electrical resistance of the wire. A load cell usually consists of four strain gauges in a Wheatstone bridge configuration. Load cells of one strain gauge (quarter bridge) or two strain gauges (half bridge) are also available.[1] The electrical signal output is typically in the order of a few millivolts and requires amplification by an instrumentation amplifier before it can be used. The output of the transducer can be scaled to calculate the force applied to the transducer. The various types of load cells that exist include Hydraulic load cells, Pneumatic load cells and Strain gauge load cells.