Research Article Open Access

Reinforcing Effect of Strain Gauges on 3D Printed Polymers: An Experimental Investigation

Roberto Torre1 and Salvatore Brischetto1
  • 1 Politecnico di Torino, Italy


Strain gauges are ordinary transducers for strain measuring; their operation relies on the electrical resistance, which varies as the underlying substrate is subjected to mechanical deformation. The mechanical strain can be obtained by converting the electrical signal through a gauge factor, provided by the manufacturer. It was demonstrated that its values are not unique; it may be influenced by the geometrical characteristics of both the specimen and the strain gauge and by their respective moduli of elasticity. This can be extremely dangerous when low modulus materials are studied. This study confirms that even with commercial strain gauges specifically designed for low modulus materials the effect might be present. An experimental method for its evaluation is discussed; tensile specimens are used as a test bench and their modulus is determined using both strain gauges and a non-contact method (Digital Image Correlation). The results show that a local reinforcing effect is present and a higher tensile modulus is obtained when contact transducers are bonded to polymeric specimens. The amplitude of this effect is predicted with established methods available in the literature and through a simple 2D Finite Element (FE) model. All these models require the elastic modulus of the strain gauge to be considered; a digital procedure to estimate it for any wired transducer is therefore proposed. The predicted results were found to be consistent with those experimentally measured; this validated the method, thus advising on how to evaluate the phenomenon also when this information is not available.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 14 No. 1, 2021, 7-24


Submitted On: 17 November 2020 Published On: 9 January 2021

How to Cite: Torre, R. & Brischetto, S. (2021). Reinforcing Effect of Strain Gauges on 3D Printed Polymers: An Experimental Investigation. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 14(1), 7-24.

  • 6 Citations



  • Strain Gauge
  • Polymer
  • Material Testing
  • Material Characterization
  • Digital Image Correlation