Pressure sensors

Pressure sensors (also known as strain gauges) are devices that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The process occurs by detecting the pressure force that is exerted on the surface. This force is then converted into an electrical signal (current or voltage). The value of the electrical signal is relatively proportional to the pressure force.

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In this category you will find various types of pressure sensors. As in the case of other categories with specialized products, many types of sensors can be distinguished. It is fact, nonetheless, that pressure sensors are widely used by many entities, including universities, schools, science laboratories, big companies and of course programmable electronics enthusiasts. These devices allow for the creation of various advanced Internet of Things projects.

Pressure sensors are used in the construction of various electronic scales and wherever the mass is a critical value, affecting the proper functioning of the device or object. Our store also offers strain gauge beams, enabling the measurement of the pressure force of objects with a permissible total weight in the range from 1 kg to 40 kg

Different types of pressure sensors

Pressure sensors measure the stress that is acting on them. The stress-sensitive elements used in them are made of metal wire or foil. Typical strain gauges in electronic scales (e.g. home bathroom scales) are characterized by a very simple design. The steel measuring element is susceptible to bending but completely resistant to deformation. In the case of more advanced products, such as those you see in this category, the principle of operation is slightly different. Much depends on the specific type of pressure sensor. There are linear and non-linear pressure sensors. Some devices have the option of an adjustable length of pressure, others do not. In addition, in this category you will also find professional elements of programmable electronics such as OpenScale – bridge for strain gauge beams or hub for strain gauge beams – Load Sensor Combinator! Here you will find everything you and your DIY project need.

Resistance pressure sensor – how does it work?

The resistance pressure sensor (FSR) consists of two layers electrically insulated against each other. When a pressure force is applied to the outer layer in the form of a foil membrane, the insulating sheath presses against the active layer. This last layer is lined with electrically conductive measuring points. The principle of operation of the pressure sensor is relatively simple. The greater the contact force, the lower the contact resistance between the measuring points. What is more, the conductive layer is connected to the power source with auxiliary voltage and the voltage signal represents the applied pressure force. It is worth noting that this type of device can be read by Arduino or Raspberry Pi via an analog-to-digital converter. For this purpose, the algorithms of the program are also used, converted into the value of the weight exerted on the surface of the load cell. Depending on the device and the programming method, the pressure measurement result can be conveniently displayed on the LCD display.

Some important notes on the pressure sensors’ installation processes

The flat FSR sensors are made of a very fine material. Therefore, special care is required during their installation. Before installation, carefully read the attached instructions. At the prototyping stage, the easiest way is to connect such a sensor to the contact plate directly or by means of crocodile clips or ARK connectors with screw terminals. If, however, you want to solder the pressure sensor to the PCB board, remember to carefully check that the soldering tip is 100% clean and that you have properly prepared the surface for soldering. This is very important because even within a few seconds the sensor layers may undercut, which in turn may cause permanent damage to the sensor. If you are a beginner in programmable electronics, check the other product categories in our store - we have a lot of educational courses and beginners kits for you!