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What are Extensometers?

11/7/2013 8:28:34 AM | by Anonymous


Extensometers are sometimes called strain gauge. They are devices which can measure variation in an object’s length. These variations are not identifiable with the naked eye or significant enough that someone can clearly visualize them.


Extensometers, the practice of measuring such variations is known and used extensively in materials testing. They are very useful for stress-strain measurements and tensile tests. The name extensometer comes from “extension-meter” and was invented by Charles Huston.


Tensile testing requires an extensometer and these devices are used in scientific research to make record important observations. The original extensometer was developed in the 1800s and was a contact extensometer that requires contact with the material being measured to function. The material’s length fluctuated and it would cause the physical reading to appear on the extensometer.


In addition, this could be used in stress testing to find out how much materials and objects have deformed under strain. Therefore, the need to be in physical contact with the object being measured could also be a problem as it might skew the results or be impractical for certain types of testing. As a result, the non-contact extensometers were developed.


The uses of optical extensometers are installed with a laser to measure the changes from a distance. Optical extensometers can be very detailed and precise with the ability to detect minute fluctuations and provide a reading for the person administering an equipment or test. The cost of such systems varies depending on the objects that are designed to measure and their precision.


Other devices are used to make measurement with an extensometer that must be calibrated. The calibration is typically done at the factory where the device is produced as part of the quality control process by ensuring the device will work and advertised when it is delivered. Furthermore, people must also be periodically recalibrated to confirm that the device is working properly.


This can be done in a facility with a calibration kit or send the extensometer out for examination in a lab which specializes in calibration activities. When an extensometer is not in use, they should be protected to keep it working properly. Many come with protective cases and coverings which can be used to shield the device when it is not in active use.


These extensometers need to be stored in a way which can protect them from shock as shock or jarring movements can throw the device off making its readings inaccurate and causing problems for people working with the extensometer. The protection and maintenance of equipment such as extensometers is a collective effort which will involve equipment technicians as well as users.

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