When engineers design structures that need to carry a lot of weight, they need to conduct accurate measurements to ensure that these structures are safe, efficient, and durable. If a structure like a building or a bridge isn’t built properly, it can pose a major safety risk. This is why strain gaging is important.
Strain gaging is how engineers test the stress limits of structures to see how much weight they can handle on top of them. A strain gage is typically composed of three layers: a protective laminate top layer, a thin metal sensing element, and a plastic film base.
These layers work together to test a structure’s load-bearing capabilities.
A strain gage will distort or flex when it is bonded to a surface that’s under stress. This causes a shift in electrical resistance in proportion to the amount of strain being applied to the surface. Engineers then use a formula to convert the fluctuation of resistance to an accurate strain reading and determine the weight limit of the structure being tested.
Strain gaging is an essential part of designing many important structures that people use in their daily lives. Without this process, our infrastructure would be a lot less stable and effective.