Today I found myself looking for force measurement device (load cell) that can be easily attached to a educational truss structure (i.e. replace a rod in a truss). I'm sure that there are bound to be solutions for that, I just haven't come across them.
Anyway a bit more details. A friend of mine wants to give a truss building exercise for students. They idea is to have them design and then build it and then test it. The obvious solution for me was to use a scale and just measure the load that it collapsed, but he didn't want it to fail. He wanted for the students to see that when they apply a load on one node, then the structure on the rods changes (relatively) proportionally and that it can be close to what they predicted analytically.
So he insists on having a load cell that can be used to replace one of the rods and then apply a load.
Most load cells I've worked with are either very low profile and flat(pancake shaped) , or s-shaped, or others which don't really fit the bill.
I found online some information on LVDT force Sensors but there was not enough information and I'm not certain that this sensor will not extend during use (I am expecting the load cell to be a rigid structure, while the LVDT displacement sensors I know need to move).
So my question is. Can someone point to the direction of loadcells (or search terms) with the following specs:
- in the shape of rod between 100 and 250 mm long,
- with a maximum load in the order of 1 kN (tensile and compressive)
- a resolution of about 1 to 10N
or alternatively suggest a cost effective way to measure the force (tensile and compressive) on a truss?
PS: While I was looking I came across a term TE Connectivity Load Cell which I haven't managed to understand what does TE mean. I wonder if someone could enlighten me on that also.