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Load cell is a type of transducer which converts force into an electric
output which can be measured. The load cell can be find at the heart of
any weighing machine or electric scales. This type of transducer is highly
accurate which provides user with required information that is difficult to
obtain by other technology owing to certain commercial factors.

It is basically a device that measures strain and then converts force into
electric energy which serves as measurement for scientists and workers.
The strain measurement by load cell helps in maintaining integrity of the
unit under pressure and protects people and equipment nearby.
• The usage of this transducer is not limited to
electronic scales. Apart from this, it is used in
industrial scales, load-testing machines, flow-
meters, etc.
It makes use of different operating principles
namely pneumatic, strain gauge and hydraulic
load cells. These load cells are usually attached to
support beam or structural bearing of an
application which endures pressures and stresses
often with appropriate adhesive or superglue.
Single Point Plateform Load Cell

Beam Type Load Cel l

- S Type Load

Shear Beam Load Cel l

Pan Cake Load Cell


- Load Pin

- Compression Load Cell

- Button Type Load Cell

- Web Tension Load Cell

• Types of Load Cells

They are available in different sizes, shapes and capacities. There are
different types of load cells available:

• Canister Type – This type of load cell is usually used for single as well as
multi-weighing applications. It is used in weigh axle weighing scales, tank
scales, weighbridges, vessel weighing applications, etc.

• Single Point – Owing to its reliability and price, this type of load cell can be
found in several types of counting scales, postal, parcel, medical and retail
scales. It is used in industrial weighing systems, platform scales and
provides accurate readings regardless of the position of the load on
platform, which in turn reduces manufacturing costs as well.
• Single and Double Ended Shear Beam – It has number of benefits,
when compared to other types of designs. It permits limited
movement to allow thermal contraction and expansion and lifts off

• Tension Link – It is suitable for applications like hanging scales,

lifting systems, winching and crane weighing scales. A good thing
about this load cell is that it provides great level of accuracy at high
capacity weighing.

• Torsion Ring – It offers excellent versatility and is now available for

platform scales as well as for weighing applications.
• S Type – This type of load cells provide digital output when used in
compression or tension. Further, it provides superior side load rejection
and is mainly used in wireless format and this technology is available at
great price.

• Weighing modules – It comprises of a load cell with mounting kit. Load

cells which comprise of weighing modules are useful in weighing, axle
weighing scales, vehicle scales, tank scales and weighbridges.

• Wireless – By making use of wireless technology, wireless type of load

cells are now being made available in wireless format, even though this
technology is available at greatly increased price.
• Vibrating Wire Load Cell

Load cells are available in three, four or six wire gage technique. All three,
four or six wires are mounted vertically at an angle of 120, 90 and 60 degree
on the periphery of the loading axis.

This technique minimises the eccentric loading effect to a great extent. In

underground mines, cavity or in tunnel, it is difficult to get the perfectly
parallel surfaces to mount the load cell. So multi gage system is most
suitable to measure accurate load measurement under difficult site

Anchor bolt load cells are used to measure load on anchors or on tie rod etc.
Whereas base support load cells are used to measure load under the roof
supports in coal mines, in steel ribs in tunnel lining at crown or any other
location in construction for compressive load measurement.
• The basic design difference between these two types of load cell is that
the anchor load cell is having a hole at the centre for mounting over the
anchor bolt whereas base support load cell are used directly under the
roof with some temporary support as in case of coal mines where the load
cells are generally used with the high set wooden support and the load
coming on load cell is not vertical and also not possible to load equally on
the axis of the load cell. The use of base plate and top plate provides small
self alignment facility for simplifying the installation. The average of loads
on multi gage system measures the actual load very accurately.
• Working Principle

It works on vibrating wire principle. It has a special steel wire of

known length which is rigidly fixed between two points and a
permanent electromagnet is placed at fixed distance near centre of
wire, when this magnet is given a magnetic pulse through some
source like readout model, the wire starts vibrating to its natural
frequency depending upon its length. This frequency is read and
displayed by readout unit. The same can also be displayed in terms
of time period, square of frequency or with little programming
directly in engineering unit of required parameter.
• The sensors basically work on tension or compression modes which
increases or decreases the length of wire. This change in length of
wire makes the change in frequency.

• As the square of frequency is proportional to change in length, the

same is calibrated for range of any sensor.

• In load cell where load is not uniformly distributed on all body of

element due to eccentric loading, a multi wire system is preferred to
get accurate load by averaging the load on different wires.

• Each wire works as individual sensor for load measurement at that

portion and the average gives the accurate load.
• Installation procedure of base support/roof support load cell in coal mines with
high set wooden probe

• It is always recommended to make initial check for proper working of load cell
before installation and to make the surface plane and rigid to get better result.
However, it may also be installed over the probe if bottom is having water/mud etc.

• Put the load cell under steel probe/ wooden support/hydraulic probe keeping top
plate and bottom plate assembly vertical to roof and install in position between roof
and floor. Apply the pressure on steel/wooden/hydraulic probe by conventional
method upto ½ ton.

• Care should be taken to minimise eccentric loading and adjusted best possible by
checking and controlling the load distribution seeing the load on readout unit. This
can be done by forcing the load cell little inward the side showing less load.

• Note the frequency of all the wires with the help of readout unit.
• Installation procedure of roof bolt/anchor bolt load cell in coal mines with the roof

• Grout the roof bolt/anchor bolt at the correct location in the roof leaving the
threaded end of rock/roof bolt about 120 mm to 130 mm out from the roof surface.

• When roof bolt grouting becomes hard then load cell installation can be started.

• Place the spacer plates on the top and bottom of load cell and insert the complete
load cell in the anchor bolt/roof bolt.

• Hang tight the anchor bolt (nut).

• Connect the readout unit and take initial frequency of each wire and note down.

• Program the readout unit.

• In measure mode of readout unit, observe the load in each gage wire.

• Start tightening the roof bolt nut with the help of suitable spanner till the
readout shows 2/3 ton of load from each gage wire (average load). This
load is called setting load and should be considered as zero.

• Now the installation of load cell is over and reading should be taken as &
when required by subtracting the setting load from the present load.