A guide to force gauge calibration

Understanding the forces materials and components are able to withstand is a vital part of precision engineering. Not only does it provide engineers with a boundary to work within in terms of maximum allowable force, but ensures the safety of those who operate the design or component.

Force gauge devices are used to take accurate measurements in different scenarios, such as a crane scale being used for high amounts of force, or load links to measure the tension at different points of a line, such as a steel cable. In order to ensure the accuracy of these devices, they need to be regularly calibrated in line with ISO standards, or pose a manufacturing and safety risk later down the line.

In this article, we dive into force gauge calibration, outline the different types of devices available, and explain why UKAS is the gold standard for businesses seeking reliable and precise calibration services.

What is force calibration?

Force calibration is the process of testing the accuracy of a force measuring device to ensure it is in line with international standards. One such standard is ISO 7500-1, which outlines the list of requirements for the calibration of tension/compression instruments in order to be compliant. Some examples of these requirements include preliminary and preloading processes, the minimum and maximum forces to maintain accuracy, and for testing to factor measurement uncertainty as part of the calibration.

Force calibration is vital in manufacturing and engineering to ensure the safety, performance and reliability of equipment. For example, force-proving equipment is necessary in determining the strength of automotive components that face strain and tension on a regular basis. Any discrepancy in accuracy can result in malfunction later down the line. Because of this, various types of force measuring equipment are used to suit different applications, amounts and types of force (tension, compression, push/pull etc.)

Types of force-measuring equipment

Force gauges

A force gauge is the generic term for a device that is able to measure push and pull force. Analog force gauges utilise the mechanics of springs and tension to provide a measurement. Electronic force gauges utilise transducers that are able to translate the applied force into electrical signals to be displayed on the device. 

Crane scales

Crane scales are heavy-duty devices that are used to measure significant values of force and weight. Their namesake comes from their suspended operation and crane-like hook that helps with measuring significant levels of force. Even though these devices are used for high values of force, they still produce accurate and reliable readings, making them suitable for precision engineering and manufacturing on a larger scale.


Dynamometers are specialised measuring devices that are used for a wide range of applications. They measure torque, force and power, and come in many types and forms depending on the use. In terms of force, one of their primary uses is to measure tension on telephone lines, suspension bridges, elevator cables, and ski lifts. Additionally, they are used to measure force for medical applications, such as hand and grip strength. 

Load links and Load cells

Load links are force measuring devices that are designed to measure force at specified links of an application such as a cable. As their name suggests, they are linked between multiple components to measure the tension force exerted by each. Load links are used for hoisting applications, and often have wireless or wired connections to transmit force measurement data.

Load cells are the transducer within gauges that are able to translate force into measurable electrical signals. They consist of strain gauges that change resistance when subjected to force, which is then converted into electrical output for precision measurements.

UKAS - the gold standard for force gauge calibration services

As previously mentioned, ISO 7500-1 represents the standard for ensuring the precision and accuracy of force measurement devices. It achieves this by stipulating the conditions, procedure and documentation required for calibration to be compliant. Additionally, ISO 376:2001 outlines the requirements for the complaint calibration of uniaxial force-proving instruments.

UKAS accreditation represents calibration services that are not only compliant with the various ISO standards, but are proven to be trustworthy and competent. These laboratories have passed a range of verification stages and tests that range from employees and facilities to individual processes and documentation. UKAS accredited laboratories not only ensure the compliance of all of your force measurement equipment, but provide the precision and accuracy for you to be confident in your engineering/manufacturing.

UKAS accredited force gauge calibration at DM

At DM, we have full UKAS accreditation that covers force measuring equipment and a wide range of other mechanical and electrical calibration services. We have a team of experts that operate in high-quality facilities to ensure precision, accuracy and reliability of measurements. Additionally, we offer on-site calibration services, as we understand that calibration can result in a loss of efficiency if it takes too long. You can be sure that your equipment is compliant without it taking weeks to get it back.

Is it coming up to the time for your force gauges to be calibrated? Contact us today to find out more about our calibration services and how we minimise the impact it has on your operations.

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