For over twenty years, Tekscan, Inc. has been the leading manufacturer of ultra-thin, tactile pressure and force/load sensors and measurement systems. The FlexiForce® product line was developed in response to the unique needs of companies requiring cost-effective force sensing solutions in their products. Tekscan's patented, ultra-thin (0.008") FlexiForce sensors have been incorporated into highly successful OEM products, and our pressure measurement systems are well-respected in the medical and industrial fields. To learn more about applications where thin and flexible sensing technology is ideal, download the free whitepaper, "Force Sensors for Design".
A Force Sensing Resistor:
The FlexiForce single element force sensor is an ultra-thin, flexible printed circuit which acts as a force sensing resistor in an electrical circuit. When the force sensor is unloaded, its resistance is very high (5 Mega Ohms at no load). When a force is applied to the sensor, this resistance decreases (5 kOhms at full load). FlexiForce sensors perform a multitude of functions. The sensors are used to:
- Detect and measure a relative change in force or applied load
- Detect and measure the rate of change in force
- Identify force thresholds and trigger appropriate action
- Detect contact and/or touch
Force Sensor Construction:
The force sensors are constructed of two layers of substrate (polyester/polyimide) film. On each layer, a conductive material is applied, followed by a layer of pressure-sensitive ink. Adhesive is then used to laminate the two layers of substrate together to form the force sensor. The active sensing area is defined by the silver circle on top of the pressure-sensitive ink. Silver extends from the sensing area to the connectors at the other end of the sensor, forming the conductive leads.
Force Sensor Applications:
In the medical field, FlexiForce is vital to the function of various medical devices, and also provides important force feedback during surgical procedures, and crucial data for product design. For example, FlexiForce sensors are used to obtain feedback from the forces exerted by wearable pumps to ensure they are functioning properly. They are also used to quantify the forces implied on an implantable device to ensure a more durable and ergonomic design. Learn more about the wide range of force sensitive applications for FlexiForce sensors in the medical device industry.
Should you require a custom sensor design, our engineering team will work closely with you throughout each stage of the design process to ensure the best sensor design for your application, budget, and timeframe. For customers who need custom application software to complement their sensors, we team up with trusted companies to combine our expertise and develop complete specialized solutions. We also offer off-the-shelf turnkey systems for testing and prototyping.
Contact us to discuss your application.