What is Compression Force?

Compression Force

Morehouse Instrument Company has shared tremendous knowledge throughout the years with blogs, technical papers, and webinars. This education aligns with our purpose, to create a safer world by helping companies improve their force and torque measurements.

When someone is new to calibration or metrology, the information can be overwhelming. There is so much to digest that people can quickly become overwhelmed. Some have joked that an introduction to metrology is like trying to drink through a firehouse.

In this article, we are going to discuss a force calibration basic, compression force, or compression forces. Let's start by defining force.

What is Compression Force?

In his second law, Sir Isaac Newton stated that force controls motion; therefore, we must control the force if we are to control the motion. An example of force: I have an egg in my hand and want to break it by squeezing it in my hand. This egg will break at X known force. No matter where I am in the world, the same amount of force will be required to break the egg in my hand. It will not take less force to break this egg in Pennsylvania than in Peru.

A simple physics definition for force is mass times acceleration (F = m x a). As shown in the illustration below, force is a derived unit from the SI base units of Mass, Time, and Length. The International Committee for Weights and Measures in the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (CIPM/BIPM) defines 1N as the force required to accelerate 1 kg to 1 meter per second per second in a vacuum.

compression forces
How Compression Force is Derived courtesy of NIST


Calibration is the comparison of an unknown (typically referred to as the Unit Under Test or UUT) to a device known within a certain error (typically referred to as the Calibration Standard or Reference Standard) to characterize the unknown. Therefore, compression force calibration compares a force instrument to a force reference standard to characterize the instrument in compression.

What is a Compression force?

When discussing compression force, we should think about something being compressed or something being squeezed. I like to describe compression calibration as pushing or squeezing something.

Compression Froce
Compression Force Examples


Above are two examples of a compression force setup in a calibrating machine. The machine on the left is compressing both load cells by creating an upward force. The picture on the right is a compression force set up in the deadweight machine where a downward force compresses the load cell.

The key to this type of calibration is making sure everything is aligned and that the line of force is as straight as possible. I like to say free from eccentric or side forces. The key to proper alignment is using the right adapters in the calibrating machine, from alignment plugs to top adapters.


Morehouse has a technical paper on recommended compression and tension adapters for compression force calibration that can be found on our here.

Compression Force Calibration Conclusion

I take great pride in our knowledgeable team at Morehouse, who continue to work with everyone, clarify complex topics, and provide tools such as free guidance documents, excel sheets, and products to help you make better force measurements.

At Morehouse, we educate our customers and provide solutions to you from basic concepts about compression force or compression forces to more advanced measurement uncertainty topics. Most of these solutions are available for free to help you make better measurements and can be found here.

We have been in business for over a century and focus on being the most recognized name in the force sensor calibration business. That vision comes from educating our customers on what matters most, and having the proper discussions relating to force sensor calibration concepts, so everyone uses the proper methods and math.\

If you enjoyed this article, check out our LinkedIn and YouTube channel for more helpful posts and videos.

Everything we do, we believe in changing how people think about force and torque calibration. We challenge the "just calibrate it" mentality by educating our customers on what matters, what causes significant errors, and how to focus on reducing them.

In addition, Morehouse makes simple-to-use calibration products. We build excellent force equipment that is plumb, level, square, and rigid. Morehouse provides unparalleled calibration service with less than two-week lead times.

A video on what makes great force machines to calibrate compression force can be found here.

Please contact us @ 717-843-0081 to talk to a live person or email info@mhforce.com.

#compression force calibration

#compression force calibration

Please share if you found this helpful.

Newsletter Subscription

  • We're committed to your privacy. Morehouse Instrument Company uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

Find Related Articles

When You're Looking for More Accurate Measurements

Morehouse would like the opportunity to earn your business. Contact us today.
Contact Us
  • Type

Top cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram