Você está na página 1de 9

110

Lab Experiments

Experiment-55

STRAIN GAUGE MEASUREMENT OF


YOUNGS MODULUS USING
CANTILEVER
Dr Jeethendra Kumar P K
KamalJeeth Instrumentation and Service Unit, RMV 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 094, INDIA.
Email: jeeth_kjisu@rediffmail.coml

Abstract
Youngs modulus and strain per unit mass at a distance x from the load are determined using
a metal strain gauge in full bridge circuit and aluminum cantilever. The values obtained are
verified with the standard values.

Introduction
A cantilever is a common experiment performed in laboratory using traveling microscope. The
traveling microscope measures the depression caused by the acting force on the cantilever. The
depression also can be measured using a strain gauge. This is the electronic method of
determining youngs modulus.

Strain gauge

Figure-1 Strain gauges


A strain gauge is a specially designed resistor whose resistance varies by stretching and
compressing it. The change in the resistance is of the order of 1% or less. Electronic circuits can
detect such a small resistance change. A strain gauge [1] is made of a conducting wire arranged
in a wave pattern as shown in Figure-1. The conducting wire is etched on metal clad plastic film.

Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

111

Lab Experiments

On the plastic film, the active region or the body of the resistance is clearly visible for nacked
eye. Around the active region boundary, marks are made to align strain gauge while fixing [2].
The strain gauge is designed to paste to a surface using glue. When there is a deformation in the
surface over which the gauge is pasted the resistance of the gauge change. Hence, the
deformation taking on the surface is directly sensed by the strain gauge. Normally the percentage
change in the resistance is around twice the change in strain. This gain factor two is designated as
GF. This is not a universal constant but vary with gauge.
Metal alloys such as constantan, nichrome, dynaloy, stabiloy and platinum wires are used to
make strain gauges. The resistance of the conducting strain gauge wire is given by

R=AL
Where R is the resistance of the conducting wire
A is the cross sectional area of the wire
L is the length of the wire
is resistivity of the material of the wire.

Force acting on the surface of the gauge causes elongation or contraction in the length of the
wire, which results in resistance variation. However, the change in the wire length is fraction of
millimeter still it could cause change in the resistance. The fractional change in the resistance to
fractional change in the length is called gauge factor and designated as GF.
GF =

R / R RL
=
L / L LR

Semiconductor strain gauges are also available which has large gauge factor and more sensitive.
Table-1 shows a comparison between metal strain gauge and semiconductor stain gauge [3].
Semiconductor strain gauge are more sensitive but less accurate, whereas metal strain gauge are
less sensitive and more accurate. Therefore, for accurate measurements metal strain gauges are
preferred.

Parameters
Range
GF
Resistance
Tolerance
Size (mm)

Table-1
Metal Strain Gauge Semiconductor Stain gauge
0.1 to 40,000
0.001 to 3,000
2 to 4.5
50 to 200
120,350,600,5K
1K to 5K
0.1% to 0.2%
1% to 2%
0.4 to 150
1 to 5

Comparison between a metal strain gauge and a semiconductor strain gauge


Strain gauges are used to measure strain, force, pressure and flow. The metallic strain gauges are
prepared by photo etching technique. Semiconductor strain gauges are made using piezoresistive
material. Materials such as Silicon or Germanium are used. Semiconductor strain gauges are very
small with very high sensitivity. However, semiconductor strain gauges are more sensitive to
temperature in comparison with metal strain gauge. Semiconductor strain gauges are used for

Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

112

Lab Experiments

force measurements; hence, it is also referred as displacement sensor. Displacement is


proportional to force.

Strain

Width
Length

Contraction in the width

Elongation in the length

Force Acting

Figure-2 Force acting on a fixed object fixed at one end


Strain is the amount of deformation of a body due to the application of force. Strain is denoted as
and defined as the fractional change in the length as shown in Figure-2. The strain produced is
given by
=

L
L

Where

3
is the strain
L is the length of material
L is the increase in the length

Comparing equation 3 with 2 we can write

R / R
GF

The length of the object is increased and width is decreased due to the force. The increase in the
length is positive strain or tensile, the decrease in the width is negative strain or compression.
The strain gauge if pasted on to the surface can sense the elongation and contraction taking in the
material.
The elongation and compression is very small of the order 1% or less. To detect such small
change Wheastones bridge is used as shown in Figure-3. The bridge will be balanced when
R1 R 4
=
R2 R3

The output voltage of the bridge is given by


Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

113

Lab Experiments

R3
R2
Vo =

Vex
R 3 + R 4 R1 + R 2
Where

Vex is excitation voltage

R1

R4

Vex
R2

R3

Vo

Figure-3 Wheastones bridge

Any one arm of the Wheastones bridge can be replaced by a strain gauge for example R1 and R4
as shown in Figure-3 such a bridge is called half-wave bridge. To increase the sensitivity of the
bridge all the four arms are replaced by strain gauge as shown in Figure-4. Two strain gauges A
and B are used to detect the elongation or positive strain and two more strain gauges C and D are
used to detect the contraction or the negative strain. Such a four arm active bridge is called fullwave bridge.
A and B to detect elongation
RG-dR
Vex

RG+dR

Force

A C

RG+dR

RG-dR

Vo

C and D is to detect contraction

(a)

(b)

Figure-4 (a) Full-wave bridge (b) The strain gauges are glued to a metal cantilever

The output voltage of the full-wave bridge is given by [4]


VO = - GF Vex

The equation is much simplified by activating all the arms of the bridge. The excitation voltage
Vex is generally a dc voltage. A low voltage is preferred to avoid heating effect. In this
experiment Vex is taken as 1.25volts. This selection guarantees very low temperature effect on the
strain gauge.
Equation 7 shows that the strain produced is directly proportional to the output voltage of the
full-wave bridge.
Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

114
=

Lab Experiments

VO
Vex G F

The output voltage is of the order of few microvolts, which need to be amplified to milli volt
level in order to detect using digital milli voltmeter. An instrumentation amplifier is used to
amplify the signal [5], which also convert the double ended-input in to single ended output as
shown in Figure-6.

RG-dR
Vex

10K
PT1

RG+dR

B
A C

RG+dR

RG-dR

Vo

Figure-5, Balancing the Bridge

An Opamp based instrumentation amplifier is used for this experiment. The amplifier detects
only the difference mode signal rejecting the common mode signal. The gain of the amplifier is
set to 10 by selecting RF =100K and RI = 10K. A zero setting for the bridge and offset zeroing is
used in the circuit. A 200mV DPM is used to detect the output with its decimal fixed at the
second digit. The DPM reads output voltage in milli volts from which strain is calculated using
equation-8.
100K
-12V

PT1

A C

RG+dR

RG-dR

10K
Vo

2
3

100K

741

5
6

10K

10K

20K
TP2

Vex

RG+dR

RG-dR

10K

15.00

0.1
+12V

200mV DPM

Figure-6, Strain amplifier circuit

Figure-6 shows complete circuit diagram of strain amplifier. TP2 is offset adjustment of the
Opamp, which is used as zero setting when there is no load on the strain gauge.

Stress

Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

115

Lab Experiments

A cantilever is a mechanical arrangement in which one end of a rectangular scale or strip is fixed
rigidly and the other end is free. The common example of a cantilever is the diving springboard
in the swimming pool, which is fixed at one end. The force acting on the free end elongate upper
surface and contract lower surface. The strain gauges are pasted to both the surfaces to detect the
elongation and contraction. If F is the force acting on the cantilever then,
Ybt 2
F=
3x
Where

9
Y is the youngs modulus of the material of the scale
b is its breadth
t is its thickness
x is the distance between the force acting point to the center of the strain gauge

If m is the weight hanging at the free end of the cantilever, then force exerted is mg. substituting
for F in equation 9 we get
Y=

3mgx

10

bt 2
Strain
Gauge

Fixed at one end


Scale
Force

Figure-7, Measurement of distance x

In equation 10, 3g/bt2 is constant for a given cantilever hence the youngs modulus Y depends
only on m/. By determining mass per unit strain (m/), Youngs modulus is determined.

Apparatus Used
An aluminum cantilever of 9 inch long and 1.5 inch wide is fitted with full bridge strain gauge as
shown in Figure-8, a digital strain voltage indicator and 100x5 gm slotted weight.

Figure-8 Cantilever fitted with full bridge strain gauge


Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

116

Lab Experiments

Fixing of strain gauge to the aluminum scale

The aluminum scale is polished at its center using zero number shine paper . The center of the
scale is marked with a pencil. The strain gauge is pasted lengthwise using nitrous-based glue.
Two strain gauges pasted with its center coinciding with the scale center on each side of the scale
as shown in Figure-8. Figure-9 shows detailed procedure of pasting strain gauge to the aluminum
scale. The strain voltage indicator circuit is shown in Figure-6, which measures the strain
voltage.
A
1.5 Inch

Top

Slot to fix
weight

Bottom

C
D

Center Line
9 inch

Figure-9, Four strain gauges are fixed to the aluminum scale

The complete experimental setup is shown in Figure-10, and same is available with KamalJeeth
Instrumentation & Service Unit.

Figure-10, Youngs Modulus Experimental Setup

Experimental Procedure
1. The dimensions of the cantilever are noted by measuring its breadth and thickness up to
0.01cm accuracy using vernier calipers and screw gauge.
b = 3.85cm

t = 0.20cm

2. The cantilever is fixed to its stand and screwed tightly. The gauge factor GF and exitation
voltage is noted from the label printed on the stain voltage indicator.
Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

117

Lab Experiments

GF = 2.1 2% Vex = 1.25 Volts


The strain gauge is connected to the strain voltage indicator using D type connector.
3. The strain voltage indicator is adjusted to zero using zero-set control knobs (fine-offset and
coarse-bridge balance) of the indicator. By watching the stability of zero- setting for 1 or 2
minutes a 100 gm weight hanger is fixed to the cantilever a distance x from the center line
marked on the cantilever. The distance x is noted.
x = 10.3cm
4. The steady reading in the strain voltage indicator is noted in Table-2. Strain is calculated
from eqauation-8.
=

VO
0.08mV
=
= 30.47 x10 6
Vex G F
2.1x1.25

Distance
Weight (gms)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
Distance
Weight (gms)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600

Table-2
X=10.3Cms
Strain gauge output voltage (mV)
Trial-1 Trial-2
Trial-3
Average
0
0
0
0
-0.08
-0.08
-0.08
-0.0800
-0.18
-0.17
-0.17
-0.1733
-0.27
-0.26
-0.26
-0.2633
-0.36
-0.35
-0.35
-0.3533
-0.45
-0.43
-0.43
-0.4366
-0.50
0.051
-0.51
-0.5066
X=9.0 Cms
Strain gauge output voltage (mV)
Trial-1 Trial-2
Trial-3
Average
0
0
0
0
-0.05
-0.06
-0.05
-0.0533
-0.13
-0.14
-0.13
-0.1333
-0.20
-0.21
-0.21
-0.2066
-0.27
-0.28
-0.28
-0.2766
-0.34
-0.35
-0.35
-0.3466
-0.42
0.043
-0.42
-0.4233

x 10-6

m/ x 106

30.47
3.28
66.01
3.02
100.30
2.99
134.59
2.97
166.32
3.00
192.99
3.10
Average m/ 3.06 x 106
x 10-6

m/ x 106

20.30
4.926
50.78
3.938
78.70
3.811
105.37
3.796
132.03
3.787
161.25
3.721
Average m/ 3.81 x 106

Strain Voltage at different loads

5. Trial is repeated by increasing the weight in steps of 100gms up to a maximum of 500 or 600
Gms. The corresponding readings are tabulated in Table-2. The average value of m/ is
calculated and Y is calculated.

Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003

118

Lab Experiments

6. To increase the accuracy of measurement, the weight hanger is removed and the strain
indicator is monitored few minutes to see its zero setting. Wait until the zero setting is OK.
Restart loading weight at the same position with and another set of readings are taken.
Likewise, three trials are taken for each position.
11

3mgx

3x 980 x10.3
Y=
=
(3.28x10 6 ) = 6.45x10 Dynes/cm2
2
3
.
85
x
0
.
04
bt
7. Experiment is repeated by hanging the weight at 9 cms from the strain gauge center. The
corresponding values are tabulated in table-2 and average value of Y is calculated for
aluminum cantilever.

Results
The results obtained are tabulated in Table-3.

Distance x
Strain/ unit mass = 1/(m/)
Youngs modulus of Aluminum
Y average
Standard value

Table-3
10.3cm
9.0cm
0.326
0.262
6.45 x1011
6.54 x1011
11
6.495x10 dynes/cm2
7.07x1011 dynes/cm2

Youngs modulus of aluminum

Discussions
A new method of determining youngs modulus using strain gauge is introduced in this
experiment. A series of experiments will be presented in future volumes of LE dealing with strain
gauge. The electronic part is much simpler using instrumentation amplifier. Students can do this
experiment easily using locally available quick fix glue for fixing the strain gauge. The youngs
modulus obtained in this measurement agrees well with standard value; 8% tolerance is observed.
The method can be used for brass, MS, copper cantilevers also.

References
[1]

Robert F Coughlin and Frederick F Driscoll, Operational amplifier and Linear Integrated
Circuits, 3rd Edn, Prentice-Hall, 1987, Page 209.

[2]

Strain gauge laboratory, http:/www.personal.Dundee.ac.uk/~gathomso/strain.htm

[3]

Watt Kester, Editor, System Application Guide, Section-1,6, analog Devices Inc, 1993.

[4]

http:/zone.in.com/devzone/conc.

[5]

R F Coughlin and F F Driscoll, Operational Amplifier and linear Integrated circuits, 3rd
Edn,1987, PHI, Page-209.

Vol-3, No-2, JUNE-2003