This article presents a theoretical and experimental investigation of a new kind of force sensor which detects forces by measuring an induced pressure change in a material of large Poisson’s ratio. In this investigation, we develop mathematical expressions for the sensor’s sensitivity and bandwidth, and show that its sensitivity can be much larger and its bandwidth is usually smaller than those of existing strain-gage-type sensors. This force sensor is well-suited for measuring large but slowly varying forces. It can be installed in a space smaller than that required for existing sensors. This paper also discusses the effects of various parameters on the sensor’s performance and on failure modes. To verify the theoretical derivation, a prototype force sensor was designed and built. This prototype hydrostatic force sensor can measure the compressive forces up to 7200 lbf and tensile forces up to 3500 lbf.

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