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MEMORANDUM TO: DR. P. S. SHIAKOLAS FROM: NGUYEN THIEN H SUBJECT: STRAIN GAGE SENSORS DATE: 6/15/2009 CC: MR. NITIN UPPAL The strain gage is one of the most widely used strain measurement sensors. Basically, a strain gage is a thin piece of conducting material. It is literally glued on to the device where you want to measure strain. Fundamentally, all strain gages are designed to convert mechanical motion into an electronic signal. A change in resistance is proportional to the strain experienced by the sensor. For this particular experiment, a strain gage is used to measure the deflection of a metal ruler, and the data is recorded by lab view software. The purpose of this experiment was to have a better understanding of strain gages and the usage of the analog circuit arrangement to measure the change in resistance, which is related to the strain by a quality, called the strain sensitivity of the sensor and caused by the deformation of the object. The figure below shows the construction of analog circuit: Figure 1 : Analog sensor circuit for using a strain gage as a deflection sensor A 120 Ω strain gage, which includes two wire leads, was attached to a bendable ruler. The Wheatstone bridge circuit which is shown on the left side of the dotted line in Figure 1 was arranged on an electronic breadboard. Since the resistance in the strain gage that was placed on the ruler was 120 , the resistors on three arms of the Wheatstone bridge were all 120 to avoid any DC bias voltage ( R B1 = R B2 = R B3 = 120 Ω). The LMC6484 operational amplifier (shows on
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the right side of the dotted line in Figure 1) was used to amplify the voltage output from the
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