Exact Force Measurement based on proven strain gauge measuring principles.
Precise and Effective Force Sensors & Load Cells
Force Sensors measure static and dynamic tensile and compressive forces - precisely and in virtually any condition. Our Force Sensors are based on the proven Strain gauge measuring principle. From Miniature Force Sensors to Donut Ring Force Transducers and Bending Beams to Load Cells - we offer a large selection of sensors for a wide variety of applications and industries. We are happy to assist you in the selection.
We are happy to help you select the most suitable sensor or measurement solution. Fill in our contact form or contact us directly: you can find the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of your nearest location on our locations page.
Force Sensors for every application - Our Product Portfolio
Force Sensors & Load Cells for every application
Force Sensors can convert a force into an electrical signal. Their operation relies on measuring strain in a precision metal structure using foil strain gauges bonded to the surface of the metal. The structure can be built in a wide variety of forms depending on the force range and the application requirements. Our Load Cells range from 1 mN up to 10 Mega Newton.
Features and benefits
- Precise: Our Force Transducers provide very accurate measurement data and record even the smallest forces. The measuring range is between 20 grams and 1,000 tons.
- High performance: Unintended influences such as temperature fluctuations are compensated.
- Versatile: The Force Gauges can be variably transferred to many geometric shapes.
- Customized: Our broad product range adapts to your individual requirements.
Possible applications for Force Sensors
- Test benches
- Research and Development
- Drive and conveyor technology
- Production Metrology
- Process monitoring and quality control
Our force sensors in use
Exciting insights into the projects of our customers - get to know our products in practice:
Smart railway sleepers with multi-sensor solution
The Dutch company ProRail (responsible for all railway tracks in the Netherlands) is testing new types of durable sleepers in a testing ground on a stretch of track. The test takes two years, and trains continue to run during the test. Read how we participated in this project with an integrated multi-sensor solution.
How Force Sensors work
Force Sensors are also referred to as Load Cells, Force Transducers or Force Gauges. Force Sensors determine the vectorial, mechanical magnitude of force. Althen relies on sensors equipped with Strain Gauges (DMS) - a proven technology that delivers exact results.
Interaction of Spring Body and Strain Gauges
Force Sensors consist of a spring body made of metal, for example a steel cylinder. If a force acts on this spring body, its surface deforms elastically. Its task is to convert the forces to be measured into repeatable expansions as often as possible. The actual sensor element are the Strain Gauges, which are mounted on the spring body. The Strain Gauges absorb the mechanical deformation and transform it into an electrical output signal.
As a rule, four expansion strips are installed - two expand when one force is applied, the other two are compressed. The four expansion strips are connected via a Wheatstone bridge circuit, which is supplied by an electrical voltage. If the resistances of the Strain Gauges differ, the output signal changes. As a result, the introduced force can be determined exactly.
The strain gauge measuring principle offers decisive advantages - among others:
- Strain gauges give very accurate results as they can be precisely calibrated.
- Unwanted influences are compensated by the Wheatstone bridge circuit - such as the influence of temperature on the zero point. This allows you to use the force transducers even under unfavorable environmental conditions.
- Strain gauge sensors work drift-free and can therefore be used over the long term. In addition, the spring body can be optimally reproduced.
Individual Force Sensor Solutions - perfectly tailored to your needs
We offer a wide range of Force Sensors. The strain gauge structure can be installed in a variety of shapes, depending on the force range and application requirements. There are, for example, annular or cylindrical force gauges, one-component and multi-component force sensors or special force transducers. Our sensors cover nominal forces from 10 N to 10 MN. The larger the nominal force, the larger load cells are needed. The nominal force refers to the maximum load of a sensor.
Thanks to our own development and manufacturing department, there are almost no limits. Upon request, we also combine different measuring channels for you - for example with other physical parameters such as pressure or displacement measurement. We integrate limit contacts and alarm devices for you or build our sensors into housings and control cabinets.
Modules of the measuring chain
An external Amplifier allows you to adapt the Force Sensor or Load Cell to your requirements. The Amplifier converts the measuring signal of the strain gauges into an industry-standard voltage or current signal. In addition, you can use it to connect several sensors in parallel or to balance a static zero point.
Strain Gauge Amplifiers are available in three standard versions:
- for DIN rail mounting
- for wall mounting (also as IP housing)
- and for a larger number of measurement channels also as a 19 "rack module.
We can also provide you with:
- various assembly aids
- the complete wiring
- different signal visualizations and tools for measuring data acquisition.
Custom Load Cell Solutions
You are designing a new product or machine, and somewhere a force or weight must be measured. The standard product range of force sensors and load cells don't offer a suitable solution. What now?
Then you probably are looking for a customized load cell that exactly fits your machine or application. By strategically looking at mechanical components in your application, we can change passive components into active sensors.
We offer custom load cells for OEM or Test & Measurement applications in which force, reaction torque, or weight must be measured based on strain gauge technology.