The self-leveling load cell is a very sophisticated tool of metrology. There are several advantages to using the self-leveling load cell compared to using a much more crude and simple design such as the shear beam load cell. The first advantage is inherent in its name. The load cell is loaded via piston and is not affected by non-vertical loads. This innovative design allows it to accurately measure weight on non-level surfaces. The low profile design allows for the weighing instrument to have a low overall height and lighter weight for easy loading and unloading. GEC’s patented load cells use silicon thermal fluid coupled with precision piezoresistive semiconductor sensors which delivers a number of advantages including a high rating for fatigue life, and the utmost accuracy.
In many applications, a load cell only needs to measure accurately along one line of force. This is how most load cells are designed including shear beam load cells. This design will suffice in an application where the environment is controlled to only apply force along an axis completely perpendicular to the load cell. Any slight angle that this force varies will result in error. This becomes a fatal problem when an object is being weighed. Accurate weight cannot be measured unless the load cell is perfectly oriented to be perpendicular to the direction of gravity. However, this requirement is usually impossible to control in a portable weighing device. The top piston of a self-leveling load cell automatically orients itself to be perpendicular to whatever force is applied to it. It can do this at an angle up to 5 degrees off of the perpendicular angle. This occurs due to the most simple of laws in hydrostatics.
GEC’s load cells have a very low profile for the weight they can measure. Compared to shear beam load cells, our sensors are usually ½ of the height of a shear beam load cell with the same capacity. This is because a shear beam load cell functions as the name indicates by bending and deforming a piece of metal. Therefore, the metal must be thick in the direction it is being bent, in order to support a heavy load.
After the force is transmitted within the self-leveling load cell, it is converted into an electrical signal by a pressure transducer. These transducers use a piezoresistive semiconductor sensor. This design provides exceptional accuracy, stability, repeatability, durability, and temperature performance. The technology put into these sensors is far advanced from the strain gauge technology used on typical shear beam load cells. Bending beam load cells are also very difficult to compensate for temperature because they have a large mass of steel which will expand and contract as temperature changes. When repeatedly bending a metal object, there is always a risk of developing fatigue cracks over time. Fatigue occurs when a load is applied and removed. For this reason, most manufacturers provide no rating or guarantee on the life cycle of a standard bending beam load cell. The sensors used in the self-leveling load cells have a rated life cycle that is greater than one-million cycles. This gives the user a huge margin of confidence that the load cell will perform accurately, reliably, and requiring less frequent calibrations.
The sophistication of GEC’s load cell has given it advantages across the board compared to older technologies such as the bending shear beam load cell. Within further inquiry we realize that as long as we are within 5 degrees the force is automatically applied in a manner that is exactly perpendicular eliminating all possible errors from off center loading or inclines. Then the electrical signal is generated with the most advanced transducer technologies available. This equates to a simple and precisely delivered mechanical load in a low profile package and a conversion into an electrical signal that utilizes the best of advantages in accuracy, stability, repeatability, temperature compensation, and fatigue resistance.
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Inventions & Certifications
Our customers continue to benefit from the R&D investments we make in weighing technologies. These investments are directly related to our commitment in delivering the latest technologies available for weight & balance applications. Below are only a few of our contributions.
|3,452,600||Bourdon Tube Link|
|4,836,308||Aircraft Wheel Platform|
|4,967,384||Self-Contained Weighing System & Method|
|6,032,090||System & Method for On-Board Determination of Aircraft Weight and Load-Related Characteristics|
|Pending||Self-Contained Load Cell|
|Pending||On-Board Aircraft Weight & Balance Computation System|
|Pending||Integrated Pressure Transducer for Multiple Load Cells|
We believe in delivering the highest service levels to our customers through continuous organizational improvements and process advancements.
|National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)||822/299926|
|FAA Air Agency Certificate||G2ER273J|
|Factory Mutual Research||1T1A2.AX|
|United States Air Force||Weight & Balance Cert. by AF Letter|
|United States Navy||Weight & Balance Cert. by Navy Letter|
|GEC Customer QA Certifications||Numerous Consult Our Quality Dept. for Copies|