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​What is a Strain Gauge?

​What is a Strain Gauge?

Strain gauges are a fundamental sensing element and are used in many types of sensors including; pressure sensors, torque sensors, load cells, position sensors etc. They have been in use for many years.

Strain Gauges are very thin and available in a wide range of shapes and sizes which make them suited to a variety of applications. The majority of them are foil types and consist of a pattern of resistive foil which is mounted onto a backing material.

How do Strain Gauges Work?

Strain gauges work on the principle that when the foil is subjected to stress; the resistance of the foil will change in a defined way. The typical strain gauge resistance ranges from 30 Ohms to 3 KOhms.

When a strip of conductive metal is stretched it becomes thinner and longer, both of these changes cause an increase of electrical resistance end-to-end. Therefore if a strip of conductive metal is placed under a compressive force it will get shorter and fatter. If these stresses are applied to the metal but are kept within the elastic limit so that the metal does not break or become permanently deformed, the strip can be used as a measuring element of physical force, the amount of applied force inferred from measuring its resistance.

A Strain Gauge can be bonded to a specimen to measure the stress that it is under. This is a complicated process and is known as “gauging”. Gauging is essential for obtaining accurate and stable strain measurements.

Strain gauges are small in size, many of them smaller than a postage stamp.

Applications for Strain Gauges

Strain Gauges are used frequently used in mechanical engineering research and development to measure the stress generated by machinery. They are also often used in Aircraft component testing; lots of strain gauges are glued to structures and crucial components to measure the stress.

Strain Gauges from Ixthus

We have a range of Strain Gauges from our supplier Zemic. You can take a look at them here.

If you have any questions about Strain Gauges and how they work please contact us 01327 353437 or

For more information please contact: Ixthus Instrumentation Email: Tel:+44 (0) 1327 351004 Fax: +44 (0) 1327 353437

Article date: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:09:55 +0000 GMT

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Title:​What is a Strain Gauge?



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