Measuring tape

November 1, 2021

The tape measure, also called a flexometer, is a measuring instrument, as such it is designed to obtain quantities of various physical magnitudes . This has different designs depending on the area of ​​use, focusing this variety on the material with which it is made.

The tape measure measures the amounts of width and length, or more precisely distances between points, physical quantities that determine the size of an object or distance from one another. As such, it is a widely used tool whose origin, as we know it today, took place in the 19th century, although traces of the use of measuring rulers have been found since the ancient Roman Empire.

What is a Tape Measure?

The tape measure is in a way an extensible ruler , this because it is effectively a “tape” not a rigid material. These are graduated and can measure great lengths, in addition, thanks to their flexibility they can be transported rolled up, so even though they measure great lengths, they do not occupy said space.

The flexibility of the same expands its measurement capacity and can be molded to corners and curves, not being limited by the shape of the object as in the case of rigid measuring instruments. They exist with having different graduations, being in centimeters, inches or millimeters, they also cover different lengths, some even reaching 500 m.

What is a Tape Measure for?

The tape measure determines various physical qualities of an object related to its length . Its precision is average, being extremely useful in various areas and trades. Starting in the 19th century, its use began to spread, although it was not until 1926 that it began to be mass-produced by the Hipólito company.

Despite the simplicity of its design, what makes the tape measure take measurements with greater precision is its flexibility as it conforms better to surfaces giving access to its length. Using a tape measure correctly is quite simple as it is intuitive to use; Although depending on the type of tape, the designs have differences to take into account when using them.

The tape measure has been redesigned several times to serve in the measurements of different types of objects, but its principle is always the same. As a measuring instrument it is one of the best known, becoming required as a household tool thanks to its usefulness, in industries, laboratories and much more.

Using the Tape Measure

The tape measure is widely used in various areas; Among them, the most common are construction and sewing , in fact each one uses a different type of tape measure. In construction, the size of objects and distances are commonly measured as exact measurements are required when working on structures.

In the case of sewing, the clothes must conform to the figure and for this the measuring tape is used in the making or arrangement of the same, managing to take the necessary measures both to the person and to the fabrics to create tailored garments .

There are other disciplines in which the use of the tape measure is equally necessary, such as carpentry or surveying where tapes of even 100 meters are used to calculate distances.

Types of Tape Measure

It is very likely that in your daily life you have already come across different types of tape measures, but normally when thinking about this tool what comes to mind is the return tape. However, there are many more than this and knowing them will help you when deciding which one to use in the procedure you want to perform.

Folding rule

Commonly used by carpenters, the folding rule measures about two meters and may be rigid but it folds every 20 centimeters. These previously used to be made of wood but now they are made of fiberglass. They are marked on one side in rods and on the other in meters.

Sewing tape

Used in making clothes, this is of smaller diameter being the smallest measuring tape. Made of fabric or plastic, its material is extremely flexible and is usually 1.5 m long. They are marked on both sides but with the same scale, starting one numbering where the other ends.

Flexometer or spring

The type specially designed for construction. This tape has a “box” in which it is wound by an internal spring. Usually a metal tip protrudes that is responsible for hooking to a surface to extend the tape. Previously they were made only in steel but now they are made of fiberglass being much lighter.

Tape measures vary in measurements and materials depending on what they are to be used for. The long tapes are used by surveyors, they go 100 to 500 meters and are wound by manual cranks, not by spring as the construction ones. In general, and thanks to the implementation of fiberglass, these are light and easy to transport.

Tape Measure Features

Measuring tapes usually measure an average of 2 meters. Dividing them by the type of winding: spring and manual, you find two presentations. Those that come with a cavity (spring) box that usually measures about 8 centimeters, which would be around 3 inches. Or those that only bring the tape or have a crank, which have a greater length.

The material can also be of greater or lesser rigidity, but it must meet the characteristic of being flexible and being able to measure curved surfaces. A distinctive point common to all tape measures is color, as they are yellow with black or red graduation to optimize reading. These always come rolled up for convenience and it is also the way to keep them when not in use.

Depending on the project or research you are developing, you will be able to choose what type of tape measure is appropriate to have in the laboratory.

Importance of Tape Measure

Measurement is a necessary technique for the manipulation and transformation of objects in space. And one of the defining characteristics of these are their measurements; You cannot build a house without an alignment of its elements and for this it is necessary to use the measuring tape, to make clothes or shoes, to manufacture items such as tables or doors.

Similarly, when describing some elements, within a laboratory, for their subsequent characterization, it will sometimes be necessary to use a tape measure. An example of this are physics laboratories, where it is necessary to measure distances, sizes, among other qualities.

The vast majority of articles and artifacts that we use require measurements to be taken in their creation; Most likely, you yourself have been involved in some situation in which you have required to use a tape measure. This instrument has great versatility and is used in multiple situations, making its importance unquestionable.

Do you need a tape measure? Or is another type of measuring instrument you require? Although there are instruments that could seem to do the same at first glance, the differences lie in the use that you should give them

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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