All types of load cells operate as transducers that are able to measure a force, the weight, and change or convert it into an electrical signal. This electronic signal is then sent to the weighing system controller or display or transmitted to a database or software application.
The choice of a tension or compression load cell in any application is based on the method or type of weighing system and requirement. Both of these types of load cells can be a strain gauge, which is one of the most common types of systems used across all industries.
Tension Load Cells
Tension load cells are used to weight materials and loads that pull down on the load cell. The most common type of scale would be the hanging scale, which is used in a wide range of production and processing industries to weigh loads that are moved along ceiling cranes or weighed above processing or production vats, containers or areas.
Compression Load Cells
The compression load cell is the opposite of the tension load cell. It is used to weight materials that are pushing down on the load cell. Examples of these types of load cells can be found in platform scales, bench scales or even much larger capacity truck or vessel weighing scales.
Both the tension and compression load cell models come in different sizes, shapes, and designs. In fact, both of these types of load cells are available in S-beam shapes, so it is important to verify the nature of the load cell and the weigh the load will be placed on the scale.
There are also some load cells that are capable of measuring both compression and tensile loads. These types of combination load cells are also available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and capacities.