Strain Measurements

National Instruments offers a wide variety of strain measurement solutions ranging from simple and secure Wi-Fi devices to high-channel count, rack-mountable systems. With modular platforms such as PXI and NI CompactDAQ, you can integrate a wide variety of I/O with your strain measurements. Whether you are making strain measurements in a lab or rugged remote location, NI has the right measurement platform for your application. National Instruments has software options for quickly logging data to disk as well as for full programming environments for complex system architectures. With NI modular hardware and flexible software, you can create a strain measurement system that meets the specific and unique needs of your application.

Choosing a Strain Sensor and Measurement Device

Strain gages are fundamental sensing devices that function as the building blocks of many other types of transducers, including pressure, load, and torque, used extensively in structural test and monitoring applications. Even though strain gages are common, they are one of the most difficult types of sensors from which to condition and acquire reliable data. National Instruments offers a wide variety of devices for you to choose from to perform strain gage and bridge-based sensor measurements.

How-To Documents and Tutorials

The how-to guide for most common measurements provides information about making common sensor and signal measurements. Each of the following documents covers the operating principle for the corresponding signal/sensor and offers guidance on how to make that type of measurement. These documents help you understand what you need to know to quickly make your desired measurement.

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Modular and Portable Strain Measurements

NI CompactDAQ is a portable, rugged data acquisition platform that integrates connectivity and signal conditioning into modular I/O for directly interfacing to any sensor or signal. Use NI CompactDAQ with NI LabVIEW software to customize how you acquire, analyze, present, and manage your measurement data. National Instruments provides programmable software, high-accuracy measurements, and local technical support to ensure you meet your exact measurement application requirements from research to development to validation.

  • I/O modules with 24-bit resolution and up to 50 KS/s per channel
  • Channel counts of up to 8 strain channels per module and 64 channels per chassis
  • Compatibility with 120 Ω and 350 Ω in quarter-, half-, and full-bridge configurations

Learn more about NI CompactDAQ

Configure your complete NI CompactDAQ system

Embedded Strain Measurements

NI CompactRIO combines an open embedded architecture with small size, extreme ruggedness, and hot-swappable industrial I/O modules, and is powered by the LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O architecture. Each system contains an FPGA for custom timing, triggering, and processing with a wide array of available modular I/O to meet any embedded application requirement.

  • I/O modules with 24-bit resolution and up to 50 KS/s per channel
  • Channel counts of up to 8 strain channels per module and 64 channels per chassis
  • Compatibility with 120 Ω and 350 Ω in quarter-, half-, and full-bridge configurations

Learn more about CompactRIO

Configure your complete NI CompactRIO system

Modular and High-Accuracy Strain Measurements

The NI PXI platform provides a variety of chassis, controller, and module options that give you the power to create a measurement system that meets your application’s specific needs. The NI SC Express strain modules provide up to 0.02 percent accuracy at up to 102.4 kS/s. These solutions can scale to thousands of strain measurement channels for large applications.

  • I/O modules with 24-bit resolution and up to 102.4 kS/s per channel
  • Channel counts of up to 8 strain channels per module and 136 channels per chassis
  • Configurable desktop, rack-mount, and distributed multichassis solutions

Learn more about SC Express on the PXI platform

Choose your PXI strain modules

Benefits of Using NI for Strain Measurements

  • Integrated signal conditioning and connectivity for resistive foil strain gages and bridge-based sensors to maximize your measurement accuracy and performance
  • Flexible virtual instrumentation gives you the ability to customize NI measurement hardware to meet the unique requirements of your strain measurement application
  • Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) optical strain gage measurement capabilities equip your system for harsh environmental requirements or distributed measurements over long distances

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