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Why Measure Force?

Force is a quantity on which many other quantities such as torque, thrust and pressure are based. Accurate force measurements are required in many applications.  These include the determination of the strength of materials, quality control during production, weighing, and consumer safety.

For example, force measurement systems are used to determine when a missile has developed sufficient thrust to be released for takeoff and in auto safety tests.        

In the aircraft industry, force measurements are required to test the structural integrity of aircraft components and structures. In the picture on the left, force sensors are used to test the structural integrity of the wings, fuselage, and fasteners used in aircraft production.

Similarly, accurate force measurements are required to determine the weight of vehicles, tanks, bins, ladles and hoppers. Automated industrial processes such as rolling mills require accurate force measurement to control roll pressure on bar steel, sheet metal, paper, etc. Other applications include measurement of engine thrust, torque on dynamometer stands, cable tension on winches and elevators, and checking structures for weight, lift, drag and balance.  Force sensors are used  in electronic balances to measure weight.   Such balances include those used to weigh trucks on highways, freight cars on railroads, babies in the doctor's office, puppies at the vet, and the flow of materials in a production process.

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Tom Bartel

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