Medical Applications of Strain Gages in Hostile Environments

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An important component in engineering research and development are strain gages, as they provide for the direct measurement of the stress that occurs over the lifetime of a system.

HITEC has more than 85 years of experience in precision strain measurement, having worked with a wide range of different customer supplied systems. HITEC can assist with strain measurement on-site or off-site and for strain measurements in harsh or high-temperature environments.

Medical Applications

Prosthetic Knee Transducer

HITEC worked with an innovative bioengineering company that produced prosthetic limbs to determine the force applied on their artificial joints.

HITEC incorporated their semiconductor strain gages into the artificial limb and also designed temperature compensation methods for accurate measurement.

Upstream Occlusion Sensors in Peristaltic Infusion Pumps

HITEC has helped to produce strain gage transducers for the measurement of pressure changes in peristaltic infusion pumps.

When an infusion passes through the tubing an outwards force is applied which is recognized by the sensor. It the tubing becomes blocked this is registered by the sensor and an alarm is registered.

Strain Gage Transducers for Surgical Table Weight Feedback

The correct positioning of a patient influences surgical outcomes. Weight and position feedback is possible during surgery using transducer-based single-grid linear-pattern strain gages.

HITEC analyzed an existing table design and retrofitted their own system to a table to improve this functionality.

Force Measurement in Laparoscopic Surgical Instruments

The forces applied to minimally invasive surgical tools can be measured using strain gages.

For example, when strain gages are installed on trocars (used in complex laparoscopic surgery in the abdomen) they can measure force in the X and Y directions, enabling more insight into the working site, as well as internal and external pressure measurement.

Directional measurements are made possible using full bending bridges and sterilization is ensured with protective coatings and adhesives.

High-Temperature Strain Gages (Hostile Environment)

Strain gages designed for use in high temperature applications are weldable and come attached to a stainless-steel platform which is already wired and protected by a temperature resistant coating. When needed, weldable strain gages can be pre-formed.

The shim material used tends to be 0.005” Nichrome or 0.005” Inconel. Lead wire options for any length include:

  • #28 AWG SST Braided Type K
  • #28 AWG SST Braided alumel/alumel
  • 0.040’’ D Inconel sheathed Type K
  • 0.062’’ AWG SST Braided Type K

Or custom as required

Sensor Products – Wire Strain Gages

HITEC has more than 45 years of experience in the field of strain measurement, with a range of custom wire strain gage sensors from a variety of suppliers.

Strain Gages with Pre-Attached Leads

Pre-attached leads can be used to customize any type of strain gage using HITECs dedicated supplier. Pre-attachment of leads means soldering is not required, saving installation time and ensuring no errors are introduced.

Custom Weldable Strain Gages

Custom strain gages and temperature sensors for welding are available, in addition to high temperature systems, for applications in which clamping or curing cannot be used.

Weldable gages require only minimal surface preparations in order to be fitted and are environmentally protected because welding uses a spot-weld method.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by HITEC Sensor Developments, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit HITEC Sensor Developments, Inc.

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