The ICA amplifier is our favourite small strain gauge amplifier. With its small overall size of 19.5mm diameter and 7.6mm height and variety of analogue output options including 0-5Vdc / 0-10Vdc / +/-10Vdc and 4-20mA it is a truly flexible device. These features coupled with superb long-term reliability make the ICA amplifier a priceless addition to any strain gauge-based sensor or system. With a <±0.02% non-linearity and the ability to operate in temperatures from -40ºC to +85ºC the ICA amplifier is a truly versatile little unit.
We often use the ICA as a small in-line amplifier mounted on the the transducer’s connecting cable. It is housed in a specially-modified IP65-rated diecast enclosure for protection, providing a quick and low cost way of getting a conditioned analogue signal from any strain gauge bridge-based sensor or transducer.
The ICA amplifier really comes into its own when built into a load cell or strain gauge transducer. Due to its small and compact size it is easily accommodated into many existing products or new ones that we are designing. It sits happily at the end of load measuring pins or in a small housing on the side of an S-Beam load cell.
Here is another example where we are building a bespoke torque transducer for a customer and fitting the ICA amplifier inside the cover of the transducer to provide a conditioned and calibrated analogue output direct from the transducer, avoiding the need for any external signal conditioning electronics or further calibration work. We apply this same logical usage of the ICA amplifier to our DDEN submersible load cells where we fit the amplifier inside the load cell and seal it with ‘O’ rings to allow permanent use underwater.
Submerged and underwater applications are another perfect example of a situation where ICA amplifier’s flexibility and compact size allow the provision of a complete, calibrated measuring device without any additional work or electronics being required.
Above and to the right you will see a production batch of amplified DDEN submersible load cells being built for a wave tank application.
The full range of ICA miniature strain gauge amplifiers is available ex-stock and are very cost effective.