Understanding The Torque Equation And How To Measure Torque

Written by Fred on . Posted in Compression load cell range, S beam load cells, Sensors

In the field of engineering, knowing the best way to measure force can me critical to correctly completing a job. While there is a lot to cover in this respect, here we will be focusing specifically on torque equation, and methods of force measurement.

Torque Equation

By definition torque is defined as a force that causes rotation to occur. However, applying a larger amount of forces doesn’t create a larger amount of torque. The way to achieve greater torque is by extending the distance away from the forces center. The reason for this comes down to simple laws of physics. For example, if you attempt to lift a large amount of weight with a small lever, the effort required will be much greater, without much reward. Using a larger lever will not only make the job easier, but will produce greater results.


The torque equation is expressed as torque equals force times perpendicular distance. To use an example everyone can relate to, when you push open a door the distance from the forces exerted to the hinge represents perpendicular distance. Using this example we can also understand the importance of distance equaling greater torque, as the closer to the hinges you try to push the door, the more force that is required for a result.


Additionally, since torque can be both clockwise and counter-clockwise, if two people are on opposite sides pushing the same door, the torque will balance equally and the door will not move.

Measuring Torque

Now that we have a basic understanding of the torque equation and how it is expressed, we can explore some measurement tools and methods.

  • One of the most commonly used devices is a torque sensor. This device transforms measured torque into an electrical signal that can then be displayed as a visual reading. A sensors main use is to calculate distance and force, which can be expressed in newton-meters, inch-pounds, or foot-pounds, depending on preference and need.
  • Reaction sensors are used specifically to help calibrate torque wrenches, and test the torque limits for things like aircraft fastener components.
  • Another method for measuring torque is by using mounted transducers on the rotating shaft itself. Though there are exceptions, these transducers usually rely on strain gauges.

Each of these methods have pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, depending on what they are being used to specifically measure. In order to adequately construct a solution, an in-depth understanding of these methods is required. However, understanding the intricacies of these sensors requires more time than allocated within this article, though it can serve as a jumping off point for further research.

Further Research

If you are looking for the best method to measure torque, you must first understand how the torque equation is expressed, and how best to make use of it in your work. Once this is understood, further research into which sensor device will provide the best results for what you are trying to measure is crucial. If possible ask a professional or someone you know who is knowledgeable in the field, this can be the best way to learn first hand which methods will work now and in the future.

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