A unique strain gage based method is developed to identify the magnitude and location of a load on a slender beam with non-homogeneous material, variable cross sections, and pinned, firm rest, soft rest, pinned-fixed, and fixed boundary conditions. Four uniaxial strain gages are mounted to the bottom surface of the beam, and the bending moment diagram of the beam can be constructed using measured strains on the beam. By combining individually scaled strain gage outputs, the magnitude and location of the load can be accurately identified. The strain gage based force transducer methodology is experimentally validated on prismatic beams with firm rest, soft rest, firm rest-fixed, and fixed boundary conditions, and a continuously tapered beam with rest boundary conditions. The force transducer methodology is independent of the boundary conditions of the beam and the error from strain gage drift due to uniform thermal expansion on a prismatic beam can cancel out.

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