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I am working on a project to hopefully measure dynamic loads (weight) within the range of 0 - 100 kg with a minimum accuracy of about 1-4 kg. What is the best type of sensors to use for this particular application?

Currently I have looked at using:

  1. Load cells from a weight scale (I am not sure if this will perform for dynamic loads)
  2. Piezoelectric film (I am unsure about this choice due to inexperience)
  3. Force-sensitive resistors (not rated for application)
  4. Capacitive force sensor (I am unable to find a commercially available one)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ how many cycles do you expect this system to endure? I dont think FSRs last very long compared to a load cell \$\endgroup\$ – Wesley Lee Oct 4 '15 at 10:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Idealy the system to endure approximately 20 to 50 thousand cycles \$\endgroup\$ – user3095420 Oct 4 '15 at 10:34
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A load cell with a fast ADC and FIR filter would do the trick without any problems. You would require a trigger input to store the result at right moment. The dynamic properties is conditioned by the mechanical construction of the cell itself.

I have experince with HBM FIT1 digital cells, where the cycles are 30k per day within the last 10 years. You can also find other manufacturers like Mettler Toledo and others. Also, you can buy only a cell and you make the ADC and your own algorithm, but I would at least read the manuals of ready-made digital cells.

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How about spring and ultrasonic distance sensor? Will obviously work, and any (almost) accuracy may be achieved by correct design. In addition it's cheap and doesn't require analog electronics (except the sensor itself).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for this suggestion. I agree this would work, however for my particular application the sensor need to be as thin as possible. I believe a load cell would be thinner then a spring. \$\endgroup\$ – user3095420 Oct 5 '15 at 1:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Load cell has a spring inside, at least one i used. Ok, thin- means hard work for ultrasonic. Well, i tried :) \$\endgroup\$ – Gregory Kornblum Oct 5 '15 at 4:46

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