The main function of a force gage is quite simply to measure any force in a push-pull test. These tests are generally carried out by the engineering field, laboratories or the design field for specific instruments. There are digital and mechanical force gages available and although either hand-held measuring instrument are designed to give an accurate reading, there are times when their readings may show minor errors.
Which Should I Choose – A Digital Or Mechanical Force Gage?
Both devices are used today, but the digital force gage tends to be the one most people favor, and they will eventually completely replace the mechanical force gage. The digital force gage contains an integral load cell, electronics and display.
Why Worry About A Tiny Error?
Whilst all measuring instrument do have common errors, they are usually minor errors when the instruments are used correctly. The error is not usually the problem, but you need to be able to not only recognize the error for what it is, but also accurately interpret the impact of that error in the overall results to ensure you get the precision you need.
Use The Force Gage Correctly For The Best Results
To use this hand-held measuring instrument correctly you will get more accurate results. You should ensure that the load you are measuring is applied axially in relation to the gage. This ensures the load cell within the instrument does not become damage or give a false reading due to the angle of the load.
Impact Loads Should Be Avoided
You should not use a force gage with impact loads. This is because any kind of shock or sudden build-up of force to the gage will not display accurate results.
Consistent Speed Is The Key To Accurate Result Interpretation
There is the ability to set limits on the instrument and you will be able to extract results with this, but for the best and most accurate results you should use a force gage when a consistent speed has been achieved. Results are more accurate over time when the force has been replicated and results compared. Different rates of speed will give different results. These errors can be overcome by using the same parameters on each test.
Can People Operating The Force Gages Affect The Results?
Yes, they can! The operator of any hand-held instrument, particularly the force gage not only differ in approach, but also in their interpretation of results. This can provide subtle errors which can be compounded if there are a number of different operatives. For example, if you have one person who will err on the positive side and another who interprets results on the negative side, there will be a divergence of results. Therefore, it is important to follow a set of reference standards initially to get a baseline for the operatives, ensuring any small errors can be limited. It is always best to take a few measurements and if possible, use more than one operator to do this as this will give the most accurate results.