Accurate every time: the importance of load cell calibration

Published On: June 14 2017

Load cell calibration is essential to ensure accurate readings from first use to last.

What is load cell calibration?

Calibration compares the accuracy of a load cell against a recognised national or international standard.  Load cells can be calibrated:

  • on initial delivery
  • as part of a regular maintenance programme
  • after hires or loans
  • when moved from one project or application to another


New load cell calibration

New load cells straight ‘out of the box’ need calibration to ensure they are traceable to national standards. Every load cell we manufacture is made to the highest standards, and calibration is required to ensure each is working correctly and providing accurate readings.

At the Load Cell Shop, we calibrate all our load cells (traceable to national standards) before they leave us. The load cells normally ship with a free “single point” calibration certificate. However, if you require a more in-depth certificate, we offer a range of other load cell calibrations, including 5 point, UKAS, etc,, at additional cost.

Click here to order your calibration requirements online. We offer full system calibration for most load cells up to 1000 Tonnes at our manufacturing base here in Reading. Or call us with your specific requirements.


Calibrating existing load cells

In most applications, load cells are always working, measuring and recording. Inevitably, everyday use will in time affect their accuracy, due to ageing, drift, misuse or harsh working conditions. Load cells need recalibrating on a regular basis, and at least every two years, as part of your normal working practices.

A load cell recalibration schedule will also help identify any faulty load cells, or those nearing the end of their useful life. This ‘early warning’ enables you to replace these without affecting the integrity of your data.

There’s a lot of factors that can affect calibration in the real world (load cell mounting, stiffness of frame work, ancillary equipment, pipework, ducting etc), so if at all possible, it’s always better to calibrate in situ.

If your business uses load cells in equipment for certain projects and then stores them ready for the next, the load cells should be recalibrated after each storage and before use.


Load cells: Single Point Calibration Certificate

This is the standard calibration certificate supplied with a new load cell. It provides the load cell output at full load. For example, for a 10kN load cell you may get the calibration point 1.9998 mV/V @ 10.0 kN. Most instruments draw a mathematical straight line between Zero and the maximum output, and display any input as a value extrapolated from this line. The calibration certificate will also provide confirmation that the load cell conforms to the specification.


Load cells: UKAS, ASTM E74 and ISO 376 calibration

At the Load Cell Shop, we can calibrate your load cells to UKAS procedures, as well as ASTM E74 and ISO 376. (UKAS procedures have replaced NAMAS procedures.) We can also supply a range of Certified Calibrations Certificates. More details here.


Five point calibration up to 100T

We offer calibration (5 points) traceable to National standards, for load cell ranges up to 10 Tonne in Tension, Compression or Tension and Compression. This five point calibration service replaces the free single point calibration normally supplied, and so is discounted on the standard price.

Output values are provided at the following percentages of full load: 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%, This calibration is only valid for new load cells. More details here


Load links calibration

We offer recalibration of your load links up to 30 Tonne (tension only). You can also add proof testing to twice the S.W.L up to 30 Tonne, when ordered with recalibration.


Need to talk about your specific recalibration needs?

Call us – we always happy to chat about calibration.