Correction of Gauge Factor for Strain Gauges Used in Polymer Composite Testing

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Strain gauges are used together with the corresponding gauge factor to relate the relative electrical resistance change of the strain gauge with the strain of the underlying material. The gauge factor is found from a calibration on a stiff material - steel. Nevertheless, the gauge factor depends on the stiffness of the calibration material and ideally the calibration should be done on a similar material as tested. In practice, the gauge factor found by the strain gauge manufacturer is often used. The paper documents that even for moderately stiff materials such as glass-fibre composites a significant error is found on the strain measurements obtained by the strain gauges. This is documented both experimentally and numerically. A stiffness, also test sample and strain gauge geometry dependent correction coefficient of the gauge factor is proposed. A correction coefficient covers material stiffnesses ranging from 1 GPa to 200 GPa.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)393-403
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Strain gauge
  • Strain measurements
  • Polymer material testing
  • Composites
  • Material characterization


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