Strain Gauge Fundamentals

Strain gauges have been around for almost 80 years and continue to be key assets for measuring fatigue and testing materials for productivity and safety reasons. But how do I calculate material stress from strain? How can I select the right strain gauge and install it correctly? Our experts dug deep to provide their best answers for you about all the important questions regarding strain measurement using strain gauges. Click an option below to direct you to the content on the page.

  1. Basics of Strain Measurements and Experimental Stress Analysis
  2. Selecting the Right Strain Gauges, Adhesives, Covering Agents and More
  3. Installation of Strain Gauges: All there is to Know
  4. Reduction and Elimination of Measurement Errors 
  5. Acquiring Data with the Right Hardware and Software 
  6. Training, Webinars and References on Strain Measurements

1. Basics of Strain Measurements and Experimental Stress Analysis

How does an Electrical Strain Gauge Work

Watch this video to learn how an electrical strain gauge works.  

Strain Measurement Glossary

A useful guide of technical terms to help you understand the precise concepts related to the fundamentals of strain measurement.  

Experimental Stress Analysis

Experimental Stress Analysis (ESA) is the analysis of the mechanical stress state in materials, which is performed though experiments using strain gauge measurements. Learn the existing types of stress, their origin and states, or how to determine stress from measured strains by reading about it below.  

Wheatstone Bridge Circuit

The Wheatstone bridge can be used in various ways to measure electrical resistance: For the determination of the absolute value of a resistance by comparison with a known resistance, for the determination of relative changes in resistance. Learn the basics and theory of operation.  

Experimental Stress Analysis Reference Book

The strain gauge has become an essential tool in stress analysis, part optimization, safety testing and technical investigative work. It is also a major component used in the manufacturing of measurement transducers.  

2. Selecting the Right Strain Gauges, Adhesives, Covering Agents and More

How to Select the Right Strain Gauge

Before the right strain gauge can be selected, the measurement goal needs to be clearly set. The main question to be considered is whether the strain gauge will be used for experimental tests or for transducers' manufacturing.  

Selecting Adhesives for Strain Gauge Installation

The bonding materials have the task of firmly attaching the strain gauge to the measured object’s surface and transferring the object’s deformation without loss to the strain gauge. The various conditions and influences, and application options, require different bonding materials and installation methods.  

Selecting the Right Covering Agent for Strain Gauges

The quality of a measurement made with a strain gauge essentially depends on the type of installation and design of the measuring point. A thorough preparation of the installation surface, correct connection, and protective covering are important factors for problem-free results.  

3. Installation of Strain Gauges: All There is to Know

How to Prepare Material for a Gauge Installation

The Do's and Don'ts for Preparing a Successful Installation.  

Correct Welding of Strain Gauges

Some environments are not suitable for bonding strain gauges, e.g. because of very low temperatures or excessive dust formation, e.g. on construction sites. Weldable strain gauges are the best choice for being used in this type of environments.  

Tips for Faster Strain Gauge Installation

When you need to measure strain on an object, you are often doing so in a short timeframe. If the strain gauge is improperly installed, you can receive false measurements, which may cause you to spend even more time correcting these mistakes.  

Experimental Stress Analysis Reference Book

The strain gauge has become an essential tool in stress analysis, part optimization, safety testing and technical investigative work. It is also a major component used in the manufacturing of measurement transducers.  

4. Reduction and Elimination of Measurement Errors

Measurement Uncertainty: Less Errors, Better Results

This article addresses possible sources of error when strain gauges are used in experimental stress analysis and shows how to successfully assess measurement uncertainty already in the design stage.  

Article: Temperature Compensation of Strain Gauges

In this article we will show you which (unwanted) temperature effects can affect the measurement result when using strain gauges. You will also find practical assistance for how you can minimize these effects or compensate for them entirely.  

Successfully compensating for lead resistances

Measuring points, e.g. at bridges or aircraft wings, are often located at greater distances from the measuring instruments. With measuring points that are not directly accessible, measuring instruments need to be connected using long cables.  

5. Acquiring Data with the Right Hardware and Software

How to work with strain gauges in catman AP

In this tutorial you will learn how to set up strain gauge rosettes by using HBM's catman®AP data acquisition software and a QuantumX MX1615 data acquisition system.  

Strain gage ¼ bridge calibration with shunt signals

This paper explains how fast and precise calibration procedures can be carried out automatically by means of simple shunt resistor switching technique.  

Linearity and Sensitivity Error

This article describes the basic principles of strain measurement by means of strain gauges, from the strain itself via the variation in resistance to the eventual electrical signal, and compares the magnitude of error of the voltage-fed bridge circuit and the current-fed circuit.  

6. Training, Webinars and References on Strain Measurements

Recorded International Webinars

Missed one of our live webinars? Looking for news, useful information or tips & tricks? Watch our most-clicked webinars whenever you want!  

Customer Stories

HBM sensors, measuring amplifiers and software products are used worldwide in thousands of development projects and a wide range of industries. Our case studies gathered on this page show the diversity in which HBM products are used.  

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