Strain Gage Installation: Leadwire Attachment
engineering fundamentals Strain Gage Installation:
Leadwire Attachment

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Leadwire Attachment

- Stripping Leadwire: Cut the leadwires to the desired length. Strip off 2 - 3 cm (1 in) insulation for attachment. Twist each bundle of conductors together. Do not damage the leadwires by overtwisting or nicking them.
- Tinning Leadwires: Have the soldering station set to the proper temperature. Use the solder pencil / gun to melt a pool of fresh solder. Coat the non-insulated parts of the leadwires with solder.
- Tinning Gage: Place the solder on the copper tabs of the gage. Press the heated solder pencil through the solder to the tabs. A smooth hemispherical "solder pillow" will be formed in this tinning operation. If not, feed in more fresh solder. However, the solder pencil should not contact the strain gage tabs for more than 2 seconds at a time.
- Attaching Leadwire: Position the non-insulated conductors directly on top of the solder pillow. Press a piece of tape to the end of leadwire insulation to fix the leadwires at right position of the specimen. Press the solder pencil on the conductor and push it into the solder pillow.
- Removing Rosin: Use solvent to clean the gaging area. Remove the tape attached on the leadwires.
- Anchoring Leadwire: Make sure that no non-insulated conductors contact with the specimen. Secured the leadwires to the specimen (when possible) by a durable tape.
Note: Some strain gages do not have integral copper tabs for soldering leadwires. Instead, they come with built-in leadwires and separated terminal strips. To install this kind of strain gages, the terminal is attached to the specimen (using the same gage bonding procedures) near (2 - 10 mm; 1/16 - 3/8 in) the strain gage. Both the built-in leadwires and the leadwires for the electrical circuit are soldered to the terminal. Although the separate terminal may lengthen the installation procedures and require more space for placing a strain gage, it is a good practice because it isolates the strain from the measurement device.

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