About The BSSM

Promoting knowledge on advanced strain measurement,

stress analysis and experimental mechanics techniques

since 1964

Founded in 1964 the British Society for Strain Measurement (BSSM) is a non-profit making scientific, membership organisation focused on promoting the knowledge and application of advanced strain measurement, stress analysis and experimental mechanics techniques. BSSM sits at the interface between industry, academia and the wider engineering community and promotes the dissemination of new techniques and best practice.

In particular BSSM:

  • Provides a resource of information and expertise on strain measurement and experimental techniques
  • Runs internationally recognised accredited training courses and certification in strain gauge application, strain analysis and stress analysis
  • Organises regular seminars and workshops to disseminate the latest developments in strain measurement and experimental mechanics
  • Runs an annual International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics
  • Offers opportunities for company engagement and promotion to the International experimental mechanics community through Society membership, sponsorship and attendance at EMex, the UK's premier exhibition for manufacturers and suppliers of strain measurement and stress analysis equipment
  • Gives support to early career development through the Young Members group, the annual Young Stress Analyst competition, a dedicated Post Graduate conference, and seminars and training that support professional development (CPD).
  • Provides international networking, collaboration and a forum for publishing relevant research in the journal Strain, an internationally leading publication in the world of experimental mechanics

The Society has a wide and varied membership made up of individual, student, corporate and educational members in the UK and abroad, and has strong links with our sister organisation the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) in the USA.

Training & Certification

BSSM currently operate the only independently recognised strain measurement certification scheme in the World, through our dedicated training courses and examinations. We are the only organisation that provide certification of strain measurement personnel.

The scheme follows ISO 9712: the International Standard for Non-destructive Testing and has run for over 30 years. During that time we have held countless exams in the UK, where candidates from many European countries and a wide range of industries have attended and we have also held multiple exams in South Africa and Denmark. We are currently organising remote examinations in China.

Strain gauging is a skilled profession, requiring a high level of detail and attention. BSSM has worked with the strain gauge manufactures and experienced practitioners to develop an agreed Code of Practice for the Installation of Electrical Resistance Strain Gauges and has developed a Certification scheme to provide industry with a means of ensuring the capability of their staff to select and install strain gauges. From initial specification to the interpretation and analysis of data, the BSSM provides a complete skillset necessary for anyone involved in precision strain measurement through a range of training courses and examinations for the certification of strain gauge personnel.

Courses are available suitable for:

  • Technicians who install strain gauges 
  • Designers who design instruments to measure load, Torque, Pressure, Distance etc 
  • Engineers who use strain gauges for Stress Analysis 

The scheme follows ISO9712:2012, with three levels (strain gauge installation, strain measurement, stress analysis). The exams provide certification to assure a level of competence, from basic installation (Level 1) to full specification, installation, measurement and analysis (Levels 2 and 3). The courses (Level 2 and 3) provide comprehensive and essential information to enable successful measurements, reduced uncertainties, and numerical analysis.

Code of Practice for the

Installation of Strain Gauges

An updated 2009 edition of the Code of Practice for Strain Gauge Installation was produced following an extensive review, including consultation with experienced Practitioners. The characteristics and performance of electrical resistance strain gauges are covered by several standards, none of which has universal international recognition. These standards include BS 6888 (UK), NAS 942 (USA), VDI/VDE 2635 and OIML recommendation Number 62. However, none of the standards describe methods of installation, and it had been left to manufacturers and suppliers to provide appropriate information. Whilst good quality information is provided, it inevitably reflects commercial interests.  

The Code of Practice provides best practice guidelines for the installation of electrical resistance strain gauges. Strain gauges are usually installed as sensing elements in transducers, or for the purpose of acquiring strain data for stress analysis.

BSSM believes that it is of benefit to users to have a Code of Practice for strain gauge installation which is universally agreed.  

The Code of Practice is not intended as an instruction manual and does not therefore provide all of the information necessary to complete a strain gauge installation. The code does not purport to address all of the safety regulations associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user to establish local Health and Safety requirements prior to the strain gauge installation.

The Code of Practice is offered at a discount to BSSM Members and is available to buy. Contact us for details.

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