Laboratory Products

Miniature Sensor for Very Low Force Measurement Applications

Jun 19 2017 Read 293 Times

In response to the increasing miniaturisation of consumer, industrial and business products Kistler Instruments developed a range of very small force sensors to meet the needs of both machine builders and manufacturers of small devices. Not only is this family of miniature sensors physically small, being very sensitive, they accurately respond to extremely low levels of force.

Typical of this family is the Kistler Type 9217, a miniature, high precision, low force piezoelectric force sensor which is especially suited to testing delicate, miniature components without the risk of damage. Being only 46 mm long and 10 mm diameter, the new sensor may be used individually where space is at a premium or assembled into a matrix formation to test multiple components simultaneously after assembly. In common with the other members of the family, the Type 9217 force sensor has multiple calibrated measuring ranges; 0 to ±500N, 0 to ±50N and 0 to +5N all with a measurement threshold of less than one millinewton and typical linearity of better than 0.2 %FSO.

The special characteristic of the piezoelectric measuring element is the almost constant measurement accuracy over a very wide force range allowing the same sensor to be used across a wide force spectrum. This quality is enhanced by using a charge amplifier which can switch between measuring ranges making it possible to test a wide range of products on the same test rig. The wide range measuring chain also offers decisive advantages in laboratory applications by minimising the need for frequent sensor changes. In addition, the extremely high overload protection, when using the lower measuring ranges, means there is no need for additional, costly protective measures.

Typical applications include: contact measurement on keys, switches, relays and similar components; measuring spring characteristics; measuring pull-out forces on plug contacts; construction of highly sensitive miniature measuring platforms; force measurement on installation machines, robots, and micromanipulators.

The Type 9217A sensor has a sealed housing and is designed for use in industrial and laboratory applications. Installation directly into a structure is made possible by the thread on the shaft with the force being applied to the front side. A wide range of accessories, from a force introduction cap and coupling elements to connecting cables and straight and angle couplings, is available to simplify installation in both industrial and laboratory environments.

A detailed data sheet is available at

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