Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 115–122 | Cite as

Novel load cell for measuring axial force, shear force, and bending movement in large-scale structural experiments

  • A. Blakeborough
  • D. Clément
  • M. S. Williams
  • N. Woodward


This paper describes the design, construction and testing of a load cell to measure the axial force, shear force, and bending moment at the end of a structural beam. The capacities of the load cell are 780 kN in axial load, 350 kN in shear, and 200 kNm in bending. These magnitudes, together with the requirement that the load cell should be kept as slim as possible, necessitated a novel design comprising three steel double-spring elements machined with semicircular channels to provide localized strain amplification. The load cell was designed with the aid of detailed finite element analysis and was machined from grade 55 steel. After strain gaging, it was subjected to an extensive series of calibration tests. Results from these tests are reported, together with those from some early experiments in which two load cells were used to measure the behavior of structural steel knee elements.

Key Words

Load cell axial force shear force bending moment structural testing 


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Blakeborough
    • 1
  • D. Clément
    • 1
  • M. S. Williams
    • 2
  • N. Woodward
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Engineering ScienceUniversity of OxfordOxford
  2. 2.Defence Science and Technology LaboratoryFarnborough

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