Phew what a scorcher: load cells and temperature effects

Published On: June 28 2019


Once again, Europe is bracing itself for record high temperatures in June – and this weekend we’ll get a whole day of the heat ourselves (well, most of the UK will anyway).

Whilst the media might be ramping up for pictures of Parisians in fountains or Romans in baths, UK businesses might be assessing the effect of high ambient temperatures on their equipment, processes and products.

If you’re using one of our load cells in an outside environment, it won’t even be breaking a sweat at 45 degrees C, the projected temperature for central Europe. Even in the heat of the Middle East and Africa, where temperatures regularly rise above 50 degrees C, it’ll still working just fine.

Load cell specifications

As part of our load cell specifications, we list the important temperature ranges you need to know:


Storage temperature range

The temperatures at which load cells can be stored whilst not in use, without adversely affecting their performance.

Range: typically -40 to +70 C

Operating temperature range

The temperatures at which load cells can be used without affecting their performance or accuracy.

Range: typically -20 to +70 C

Compensated temperature range

The operational limits required in order to maintain a specified measurement accuracy.

Range: typically +20 to +70 C

Thermal sensitivity

The maximum error that can be expected in a “zero” reading when temperatures vary.

Expressed as % of F.R.O/C (e.g. 0.025% of F.R.O/Degrees C)

You’ll find the precise specifications for each load cell listed at the bottom of every product page in our online load cell shop. You can also download them as a PDF for future reference.


Compensating for temperature changes

Like all objects made of metal, load cells will expand as they heat up. In turn, any metal structure they monitor, such as a stainless steel tank, will also expand in heat. The result could be a disconnect between the load cells and the tank, if only a single cell were used. However, by using a Wheatstone bridge arrangement, the expansion of each load cell should be even across the circuit. Expansion of the load cell outer is therefore compensated for by the bridge circuit. This assumes, of course, that the entire load cell body is subject to the same temperature.


Load cell calibration

All load cells are carefully calibrated before they leave our manufacturing base. However, over time their accuracy will drift, often due to adverse operating conditions such as dirt or damp. As a result, all load cells will require regular recalibration to ensure accurate data for monitoring, measuring and testing. How often is up to you, but ISO9000, for example, sets the maximum time between recalibration at two years

At The Load Cell Shop, we offer calibration at our Reading UK for most load cells and indicators, including:.

  • Calibrating new load cells and instruments
  • Recalibrating your existing load cells
  • Recalibrating your load links

All our calibrations are traceable to national standards. If you require a Certified Calibration Certificate, we can have your load cells calibrated by a UKAS accredited lab.

For more details, call us or see our load cells calibration blog.


In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!