Description and Applications of Donut Load Cells

Posted by Daniel Lawrence on November, 2023

When it comes to measuring forces such as compression, pressure, tension, a torque, a force transducer is employed. This is a load cell. Donut load cells are low-profile compression load cells. They are also referred to as thru-hole load cells or through-hole load cells. All names refer to one distinct characteristic of this load cell. It has a hole in the middle.

Basic function

Load cells convert the various forces into electrical signals. This enables measurement. As a result, they can be read and then noted as they fluctuate in proportion to the forces applied to the sensors.

While all load cells can do this, the through-hole load cells are often more easily installed. The hole fits with ease over a bolt. This smooth hole design fits neatly over a bolt.


Donut load cells are utilized in diverse industries. You will find through-hole load cells whenever the requirement involves allowing the load structure to pass through a sensor. Among the most common applications employing through-hole cells are:

  • Bin and silo weighing
  • Bolt force measurements (bolt loading)
  • Clamping forces
  • Crane scales
  • Industrial press
  • Inline compression
  • Overload monitoring post or leg mount
  • Rolling mill systems

The automotive, aerospace and military industries commonly employ them to achieve precise and accurate measurements.

Donut Load Cells,

Through-hole load cells are designed specifically to fit around bolts and shafts. They are, therefore, available in varied sizes to address specific requirements. Some are even waterproof to use in offshore applications or other wet and harsh environments.