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B Need Help Finding Cheap and Suitable Impact Force Sensor

  1. Aug 17, 2016 #1
    Hi there,
    I'm new to PhysicsForums,

    But I need some help finding an impact force sensor that would suit my needs, and i'm pretty new to this so please be patient with me.
    (Yes, i've tried google, but im not great at looking for things)

    Any help would be sooooo extremely appreciated

    -It needs to measure the impact force it experiences when dropped from various heights
    -For the love of god, nothing complicated. As simple as possible with no extra equipment needed. If possible i'd like to just press a button and have it record, then plug it into my computer and see what's what.
    -Highllly prefer it to be rectangular in shape (rectangular prism)
    -Under $50
    -I'd like it to be commercially available so I can buy it ASAP, not a huge deal if it takes some time to deliver though.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2016 #2


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    For that price, and the majority of your criteria, it might be best to buy an arduino kit and make your own. Although that won't meet your last criteria of commercially available. I'm sure there are already project descriptions on the web that would walk you through making something.
  4. Aug 17, 2016 #3


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    Science Advisor
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    What is impacting what ? Experimental set up ? loads ? velocities ? dimensions ?
  5. Aug 17, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Smart phones have accelerometers.

    Obsolete smart phones seem to meet all your requirements, at least up to the where the impact destroys the phone. You did not specify maximum impact velocity.

    Also, a search for accelerometer on eBay shows 968 hits starting at $1.50
  6. Aug 18, 2016 #5


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    The mass of the sensor will affect the force it experiences when dropped on the floor.

    You need to tell us more about what you actually want to do. Are you testing packaging?
  7. Aug 19, 2016 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    There are also cheap single use sensors used to track shipments. They have a plastic package, some sticky glue and some glass beads. On impact, the beads slide up a ramp and get stuck. The highest bead records the maximum impact acceleration. That constitutes evidence in the case of damage insurance claims.
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